Maryann Wahmann, founder and vice president of the Carcinoid Cancer Awareness Network (CCAN), has made it her mission to support and educate patients, caregivers, and families affected by carcinoid or neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).
While living with a NET herself, Mrs. Wahmann organized the Long Island NET support group so that other NET patients in and around the New York area could find support. Under her guidance, the support group has grown from an initial 15 patients in 2003, to now assisting over 175 patients. In addition, Maryann also collaborates with the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation, Inc. (CCF) and participates on the advisory board for the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS). (To watch a video about Maryann Wahmann, click here.)
Through her experience as a NET patient and working with NET patients, Maryann realized that more information about this malignancy should be made readily available to patients and caregivers. With that in mind, Maryann helped establish CCAN in 2004. This organization provides literature and information about NETs via mail, e-mail, conferences, CD ROMs, and their Web site.
Since CCAN's establishment, Maryann has organized 15 live regional conferences, 2 national conferences, and 4 Webinars for the organization. Maryann has also helped raise money that CCAN donates for NET medical research.
Part of the many services that CCAN provides is a phone service for patients and caregivers who are looking for NET support and information. Mrs. Wahmann and her husband, Robert, answer these calls 7 days a week, from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm EST. Maryann has devoted countless resources and hours to reminding patients and caregivers that they are not alone and that support will be there with them along their journey.
Mrs. Wahmann also has joined with other advocates to help organize NET patient-focused initiatives. One of these initiatives included the first Worldwide NET Cancer Awareness Day, which was held on November 10, 2010, involving 13 countries.
A fellow advocacy leader for NET patients and Chief Operating Officer of CCF, Grace Goldstein frequently works with Maryann to provide support to patients and caregivers. Ms. Goldstein understands the hard work that goes into helping patients and was one of the first to congratulate Maryann on this award. "Maryann is an advocate every day of her life for those who face the challenges of NETs," said Ms. Goldstein.
Through her endless efforts, Maryann Wahmann has helped thousands of patients and their caregivers. She expressed that she is honored to be recognized with the 2010 Warner Advocacy Award, especially since it was established in the memory of her dear friend and patient advocate, Monica Warner.