Award Finalists

The Oregon Cancer Foundation (OCF) is proud to recognize individuals in the community who demonstrate extraordinary care and compassion to those affected by cancer. Just as swallows point sailors toward dry land, the OCF Swallows of Hope Awards recognize individuals who provide hope in the face of adversity. An award will be given to one healthcare professional and one community member, based on nominations received from the public.

The finalists in the Community Category are:

Shanna Hutton
Passionate about food and healthy living, Shanna Hutton co-founded Positive Community Kitchen (PCK), a nonprofit that engages teen and adult volunteers to prepare nutrient-rich, organic meals for people fighting life-threatening illnesses, free of charge. After helping to start PCK, Shanna served as a head chef for the organization and is currently the president of the organization’s board of directors. Last year, she started offering NOURISH: Food for Life cooking classes in collaboration with Oregon Cancer Foundation and Whole Foods Market, teaching cancer survivors and their families how to prepare healthy meals. “I truly believe that food is a component to healing,” Shanna says. “Especially when it’s prepared by a community that really cares.”

Shirley Lyons
As a florist in Eugene for more than 40 years, Shirley Lyons would say she’s in the “emotions business.” Seven years ago, she and her daughter Toviana wanted to do something to help support breast cancer survivors in the community and help raise awareness about the disease. Borrowing an idea from other groups across the country, they started Bras for Cause. Each fall, they invite community members to decorate bras, then they put them on display at Dandelions Flowers & Gifts during the month of October and encourage people to vote for their favorites ($1=1 vote). All proceeds raised support Oregon Cancer Foundation’s Financial Assistance Program. “Having an opportunity to do something fun and engaging to raise money for our neighbors and friends is really important to us,” Shirley says.

The finalists in the Healthcare Category are:

Paul Moore
As a radiation oncology nurse at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, Paul Moore is fulfilling his calling. The Marine Corps veteran, turned EMT, returned to college after his children were grown to complete his nursing degree. He spent nine years with White Bird Clinic’s CAHOOTS program and worked as a labor and delivery nurse until the recession hit and the birth rate in Lane County dropped to a record low. He then began working in oncology, offering care and support to patients diagnosed with cancer. “These people are coming to me in their most vulnerable, most frightened moments of their lives,” Paul says. “They’re overwhelmed and they’re placing their faith, fears, hope and trust in me. That’s a privileged position for me to be in. I come into work every day, and I know that what I do can really make a difference for somebody.”

Dr. Jonathan Gonenne
For the last decade, Dr. Jonathan Gonenne has cared for patients as a gastroenterologist with Eugene Gastroenterology Consultants in Eugene. He also serves on the Oregon Cancer Alliance’s G.I. team, collaborating in bi-monthly tumor board discussions with other specialists, focusing on individual cancer cases to help provide patients the best possible treatment. Dr. Gonenne is known for going above and beyond to provide quality care that addresses the needs of each patient. “I’ve had family members who’ve struggled with cancer, and I think that makes it personal for me. I try to think about that with each patient I see. Cancer care is a very personal thing.”

Dr. Benjamin Cho
As a child, Dr. Benjamin Cho dreamed of becoming an electrical engineer. But after his father was diagnosed with colon cancer, and he watched his dad struggle through treatment and the medical issues that arose, he decided he could make more of an impact by becoming a doctor. “In oncology, you don’t just treat an eye or an ear or a liver or a lung,” Dr. Cho says. You don’t just treat a disease; you treat the entire person.” As a medical oncologist at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and as a member of the Oregon Cancer Alliance’s Breast Cancer Team, Dr. Cho values the time he spends with patients. Inspired by the latest advancements in oncology research, Dr. Cho empowers and encourages patients by educating them on their treatment options, offering support and giving his time and attention to best-meet their needs.

The award winners will be announced on May 8, 2018.