July 2017 Jefferson Award winner: Project Pink'd founder Cynthia Sturgeon

    Cynthia Sturgeon is our July 2017 Jefferson Award winner.

    A local woman is now battling breast cancer for the second time.

    That same woman has been helping others fight breast cancer for quite some time.

    This month's Jefferson Award winner is a cancer survivor who founded a local non-profit organization called Project Pink'd.

    "I founded Project Pink'd because of my own experiences,” said Cynthia Sturgeon.

    She says she heard the awful words in 2007; she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

    "After it's done, I was left with 'I don’t feel the same,' so there were many gaps."

    After one year of treatment, her cancer was gone.

    "Because it was more of the 'how do I get my life back?' and you realize you don't," Sturgeon said.

    Last year, she heard those awful words again.

    "Now, I’m in my second battle, and I'm fighting it again nine years later, so I’m now terminal,” Sturgeon said.

    But her journey is far from over.

    "We really weren't in a situation, from a community perspective, to address those needs of survivorship."

    Sturgeon founded Project Pink'd in 2010. It’s a local nonprofit organization that helps breast cancer survivors by raising money and annual retreats.

    "[They] have to make a decision between feeding their family or going to treatment and taking medication,” Sturgeon said.

    She says Project Pink'd helps more than 1,000 women each year.

    "We said, ‘if we can help one person, and make their life just a little bit easier, we've done our job,’" Sturgeon said.

    While she has helped women thrive all over the state, she says they have given her so much more.

    "Just be in the present moment and enjoy every single minute," Sturgeon said.

    Project Pink'd's next benefit celebrates survivors on Aug. 18.

    All the money raised stays local.

    Do you know someone who's going above and beyond to serve their community?
    Nominate them for the Jefferson Awards.
    Each month, FOX 42, with Nebraska Medicine, selects a good Samaritan from a list of online nominees and announces his or her name on the FOX 42 News at 9.
    The winner will be given an award and will qualify for a trip to Washington, D.C.
    You can nominate a volunteer you know or just someone who is inspiring others.
    They just have to be 14 years or older. Click here to make a nomination.

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