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How It All Began

Lane Adams Qualty of Life Award

In 1985, the American Cancer Society received a very generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Armin Willig in honor of Lane W. Adams, the former executive vice president of the Society. Mr. Adams, who had a lasting memory of the comfort and care given during times of serious illness, used these funds to provide special recognition to nurses who provided extraordinary and compassionate care to their patients. This special recognition became known as the Lane W. Adams Award, now appropriately named the Lane Adams Quality of Life Award.

Beginning in 1991, the awards were expanded to recognize oncology social workers, and later to include physicians, clergy and chaplains, hospice workers, psychologists, and other direct care providers. Since 1995, Mutual of America Life Insurance Company has joined forces with the American Cancer Society in providing support for the awards, realizing the importance and impact of Mr. Adams’ legacy.

The American Cancer Society is strongly dedicated to its goal of achieving measurable improvement in the quality of life (physical, psychological, social, and spiritual) from the time of diagnosis and for the balance of life for all cancer survivors by 2015. Many programs will help the Society achieve that goal, but the Lane Adams Quality of Life Award is in a class by itself, in that it recognizes those “unsung heroes” of cancer care who provide what Lane W. Adams himself affectionately referred to as the “warm hand of service.”