Olympic Champion Shannon Miller to Help Honor Ovarian Cancer Heroes

Olympic Champion Shannon Miller to Help Honor Ovarian Cancer Heroes

Olympic gymnast and ovarian cancer survivor Shannon Miller will be the keynote speaker March 15 for the second annual Ovarian Cancer Heroes event.

Three individuals will be honored at the event, being held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu during the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer. Organizing the event is CURE magazine, which reaches more than 1 million cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.

Ovarian Cancer Heroes honors physicians, nurses caregivers, and patients for heroic achievements in the ovarian cancer field. Nominated by patients and caregivers, three winners will be named and awarded a special prize each.

Shannon Miller
Shannon Miller

Miller is said to be the most decorated Olympic gymnast in U.S. history. With seven medals, she was inducted twice into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame —  in 2006 and 2008. She’s won 59 international competition medals and 49 national awards, and is the first U.S. gymnast to win two World All-Around titles. At the 1996 Games, Miller led the so-called “Magnificent Seven” to a team gold medal.

In 2011, Miller was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. Now cancer-free and retired from competition, she advocates for ovarian cancer awareness and early detection. She has written a memoir titled, “It’s Not About Perfect: Competing for my Country, Fighting for my Life,” published in 2015. Her company (Shannon Miller Enterprises with Shannon Miller Lifestyle: Health and Fitness for Women) aims to encourage women to make health a priority.

“Shannon’s continuous work in the cancer community through her organization and advocacy has helped many women through a difficult cancer journey and their overall health,” said a press release statement by Michael J. Hennessy Jr., president of MJH Associates, parent company of CURE.

Hennessy said of this year’s winners: “We are proud to honor these outstanding individuals who have made positive impacts on the ovarian cancer communities.”

Miller will join in honoring: Paula Anastasia, a gynecology/oncology nurse specialist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; Ryan Mitstifer Walton, a high school sophomore whose mother had ovarian cancer during pregnancy with him, and; Shannon Westin, an associate professor of gynecologic oncology and reproductive medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The keynote speaker last year was actor, patient advocate and Dempsey Center founder Patrick Dempsey. Awardees in 2018 included Carolyn Berson, RN; Laurel Rice, MD; and ovarian cancer survivors Sue Friedman and Susan Leighton.

The Ovarian Heroes Recognition Program is sponsored by Tesaro, an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company.

More than 1,000 individuals are expected to attend the annual meeting, a premier educational and scientific event for women’s healthcare professionals.

The celebration of achievements will feature food and entertainment. Register here to attend the gala. Event fees range from $285 for honorary members to $1,000 for full SGO members.