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No one should have to face breast cancer alone. Co-Survivors play a vital role in helping people with breast cancer, whether recently diagnosed, in treatment or already completed treatment. Co-Survivors can be friends, spouses, family members, co-workers or neighbors, who do any number of things, large and small, to assist people dealing with breast cancer. Through its Co-Survivor Program, Komen recognizes that Co-Survivors are critical to the quality of life patients experience immediately after diagnosis, while undergoing treatment, and well into Survivorship.
Each year, Komen Greater NYC recognizes a person who has provided unselfish support to a breast cancer survivor on her/his journey through diagnosis, treatment and recovery from the disease. The Co-Survivor Award honors a person who has demonstrated tact, commitment, compassion, creativity, patience, initiative, dependability and endurance.
Co-Survivor of the Year Amanda Crain with her mother Amanda Koster-Crain. ©2012 Annette Chapman.
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The 2012 honoree was Amanda Crain who received her award from Komen for the Cure Global Ambassador Eric Brinker at a ceremony in Survivor Village. Crain’s mother, Andrea Koster-Crain, was recipient of the Survivor of the Year Award.
Amanda Crain whose mother, Andrea Koster-Crain, this year’s Survivor of the Year, has lived with breast cancer since Amanda was 10 years-old. Andrea went into remission a year after her initial diagnosis but, when Amanda was a junior in college, Andrea was re-diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.
Amanda – a former Komen Greater N-Y-C intern — stayed in bed with her mother morning, noon and night, helping her through the nausea, fatigue, uncertainty and pain.
Six months later, her mother was her old self and back to work. Amanda graduated college and moved back in with her parents while attending graduate school. During that time, she spent a lot of time with her mother, including the Sunday that Andrea had a seizure – a day her daughter will never forget.
To honor her mother’s bravery and raise money for cures that could prolong her life and those of others battling the disease, Amanda founded Team Momma and has walked in the Race for the Cure in San Francisco, where she now lives. The team has supported the Komen Greater N-Y-C Race for the Cure and is walking in today’s Race.
Amanda’s devotion is best described by her mother, whose fight against cancer has defined so many moments of their relationship. These are Andrea’s words:
“Amanda took on the role of bedside nurse and made it seem natural. There was no asking, no telling, she was just there. I wouldn't have made it through the hardest times without her. “