Details of the Excellence in Journalism Awards 2018

UK Award presented to lung cancer patient advocate, author and campaigner Sophie Sabbage


On Friday 7th June, Mike Grundy, deputy chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, on behalf of the Foundation and the two other UK GLCC member organisations, the British Lung Foundation and the National Forum for Lung Cancer Nurses, presented Sophie Sabbage with the first of this year's awards for Excellence in Journalism. 

In October 2014, Sophie, who has worked in the field of human development for 30 years, was diagnosed with late-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), with metastases in her brain and spine. 

She began publishing an online blog about her experience, and wrote a book, 'The Cancer Whisperer'. Originally self-published in 2015 in the UK, it has gone on to become a Sunday Times best-seller. Perhaps its sub-title, 'Finding courage, direction and the unlikely gifts of cancer,' says all that is needed about her view of life. 


The award was in recognition of her courageous and persistent support and advice for those affected by cancer, and in particular, lung cancer, as well as her many contributions and appearances in mainstream media, bringing much-needed attention to the disease and the lives it affects. She has recently published her second book, 'Lifeshocks and How to Love Them'. 

Sophie recently gave a TEDx talk, entitled 'How Grief Can Help Us Win When We Lose'. You can see that here

If you'd like to learn more about Sophie and her work, visit her website here.  



Sinos Group journalist Daniela Moraes receives the GLCC Brazil Award for Excellence in Journalism

Brazil, 3 March 2019 

Daniela Moraes, a journalist with the Sinos Group, has been given the GLCC Journalism Award for the article, 'Her Lungs Deserve Care', published on 3 December 2018 in the book, 'Living With Health', which was included in the newspapers NH, VS and Diário de Canoas. 

Daniela Moraes with the Brazil GLCC Excellence in Journalism Award 

Her report addressed lung cancer issues, including details of treatments and recent advances in therapies, using the stories of those living with the disease to illustrate these points. 

Daniela said, "This award is a recognition of the work of the journalist in presenting information that can help to transform people's lives."

The award recognises journalists who publish articles about lung cancer and the people it affects within Brazil, acknowledging the role they play in sharing clear information and raising  public awareness of the disease and the issues surrounding it. 

According to Oncoguia, Daniela's report was chosen for the quality of its content, which "humanised lung cancer by sharing patients' stories. It helped readers to better understand the reality of the disease and advances in personalised medicine and immunotherapy,

The President of Oncoguia Institute, Luciana Holtz, added, "It is important that issues such as these are addressed by publications that can reach so many people. Journalists have an important role in the dissemination of information and Oncoguia believes in the potential of this particularly professional journalist in contributing to the population being made more aware of cancer-related topics".   



Margaret Hawkins wins the Irish Cancer Society award 

The Irish Cancer Society has presented journalist Margaret Hawkins with the GLCC Excellence in Journalism award for her coverage of lung cancer during the Society’s annual Lung Cancer Awareness Month 2018.

Margaret’s article in the Irish Farmers' Journal discussed the lack of awareness of lung cancer symptoms and how the disease is often only diagnosed at a late stage via emergency department presentation.

Margaret Hawkins being presented with the Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC) award, for coverage of lung cancer, by Aoife McNamara, Information Development Manager with the Irish Cancer Society

Her articles also highlighted the fact that nine out of 10 cases are linked to smoking and that although there has been much progress in this area, there is still a long way to go.

An interview with Kevin O’Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager, at the Irish Cancer Society concluded the article, which also touched on Margaret’s personal experience of the disease that killed her father in law. 



Leonardo Cenci - patient, survivor, runner, champion - and winner of the ALCASE award

Our tribute to a remarkable man

The 2018 winner of the ALCASE (Italy) GLCC Journalism Award was Leonardo Cenci, a lung cancer patient who became an international celebrity.

Leonardo was the first person in the world to enter and complete two consecutive New York Marathons while receiving treatment for active metastatic cancer.  

Leonardo Cenci 

His book about his life as a runner and patient advocate, “Vivi, ama, corri. Avanti tutta!”, has inspired thousands of cancer patients throughout Italy and worldwide. 

Leonardo was given the Alcase Excellence in Journalism Award both for his book and for raising awareness of lung cancer. He was subsequently presented with the award during the fourth ALCASE National Meeting.

Then, sadly, in February 2019, came news of his death, brought to us in an urgent update from Dr Gianfranco Buccheri, Medical Director of ALCASE Italia. Dr Buccheri wrote:  

"Very sadly I have to inform you that Leonardo Cenci, a hero to thousands of Italian cancer patients, is dead.  

He appeared to be in very good shape during our national meeting, when I awarded him with the National ALCASE-GLCC award - which you can see here.  

Yet, just three months later, he lost his battle with cancer.

We in ALCASE, are very deeply shocked, as are thousands of friends from all over the country: "

Now, Dr Buccheri has added the following: 

“More than six years ago, after having been given four months to live, Leonardo decided not to even think about it, because he had too many dreams and too many things to do.

Leo apologised to his mother for his “incurable disease” (a stage 4 lung cancer that had spread to the brain and to other parts of the body) so he celebrated New Year’s Eve in November. He then rolled up his shirt sleeves and went to work he worked making the best use of time he had remaining time.

A marathon runner, Leonardo challenged his cancer: “If I keep on running, will you keep up with me?”. And his guest – as he called his cancer – had to resign to following him to New York in two different marathons. Last year Leonardo broke his personal record, completing the New York marathon in 4 hours and 6 minutes. He dedicated his achievement to all cancer patients.

Ever willing, Leo decided to build a new life, moving heaven and earth to improve the life of all cancer patients. He founded a non-profit organisation, named “Avanti Tutta!“ (in English: Go ahead!), that materially helps hundreds of patients in Perugia, the beautiful city where he lived in the centre of Italy.

Soon, thousands of patients around the country started to follow him on social media, receiving (and giving back) strength, encouragement, and positive attitude.

In 2018, he wrote a book, “LIVE, LOVE, RUN. Go ahead!”, which soon became a best seller

Every single page of his book testifies Leonardo’s will to make his points understood:

✓ being sick does not mean having to surrender

✓ hope does not mean illusion

✓ being aware does not mean giving up

Unexpectedly, and very sadly, the perfect balance between malignant and healthy cells of his body broke in the late autumn of 2018. Leonardo passed away on January 30 2019". 

You can read more on the Alcase news page here
This video is a short but powerful introduction to Leo’s life and achievements. 
Finally, here's a small selection of chapters and quotes from Leo’ s book in an English translation, exclusive to the GLCC. 
Thank you Leonardo. 


Professor Dr Wanda de Kanter receives the Dutch 2018 GLCC Award for Excellence in Journalism for her campaign to prevent smoking. The presentation was made by lung cancer patient Anne Marie van Veen, who herself won the Award for 2017.    

Every single day Prof Wanda de Kanter makes a difference to Dutch lung cancer care. She is a lung specialist at the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital in Amsterdam. 

On November 3rd she received the GLCC Journalism Award for 2018, nominated by the Durtch Cancer Patientsboard for her "strong and visible position in Dutch media on prevention of smoking". Her goal: a smoke-free generation. 

Smoking remains by far the biggest cause of lung cancer. For years, Prof de Kanter has been seeing the consequences of smoking amongst her patients. This prompted her to partner with lung cancer patient Anne Marie van Veen to start a law suit against the tobacco industry. 

For decades, Prof de Kanter has been fighting lung cancer as a doctor - now she's taken her fight against the tobacco industry in the courts, and into the media, where she makes people aware of the dangers of smoking. Her dedication to this fight is the reason why she has been nominated for the 2018 award. 

As well as being a doctor, she is chair of the board of Prevention of Smoking in Youth, and an active member of the Advisory Board of the Dutch Lung Cancer Patientsboard.

Prof de Kanter - Wanda - really makes a difference. Not only in the treatment of people with this deadly disease, but also in smoking prevention and in raising awareness to prevent children from becoming addicted to tobacco. On all these subjects, Wanda, is often featured in the media, reaching out to a wider audience. She has twice won the Dutch Female Media Award. Now, she has been chosen to receive the 2018 GLCC Journalism Award. This was presented at the annual congress for people with lung cancer and their familes, at the Meander Medisch Centrum in Amersfoort.