Those who know Lillian Shockney, or Lillie, as she likes to be called, say she is an unstoppable force for good. As administrative director of the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center in Baltimore, Maryland, Lillie not only helps save lives, she touches them in profound ways.
Lillie works tirelessly to improve the care of breast cancer patients not only at Johns Hopkins, but also around the world. She has authored 13 books and contributed to more than 200 articles focused on the emotional impact of breast cancer on the patient and the cancer patient journey, a subject she intimately cares about. You see, Lillie herself, is a two-time breast cancer survivor; Her first diagnosis came when she was 38.
“There is something comforting to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients when I can look them in the eye and say, ‘I know you’re scared. I’ve been right where you are sitting,’” she says.
Lillie was recently named the winner of the 2011 Amazing Nurses, a national contest sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, to celebrate and reward the important role nurses play in our communities.
The 20-week contest gave Americans the opportunity to nominate a nurse that has had a significant impact on their own life or that of a loved one, and then to vote for the nurse of their choice. In all, 2,624 nurses were nominated and 20,000 votes cast to whittle the field down to five finalists. Lillie was then selected as the winner by a panel of expert judges and was invited to California to be recognized during the 2011 CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute Show on December 11, hosted by Anderson Cooper.
“I never pictured myself being on the red carpet,” says Lillie about her TV debut in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. “Needless to say, it was very exciting.”
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Lillie is no stranger to awards. She has more than 40 for her work helping tens of thousands of women cope with their new reality, first as a cancer patient, then cancer survivor.