Cancer Support Community Presents First-Ever Kathryn West Inspiration Award

May 21, 2019

PASADENA, CA – (May 21, 2019) – The inaugural Kathryn West Inspiration Award was presented to Andy Tao and Jeanne Beesley at the finish line of the Amgen Tour of California. The Kathryn West Inspiration Award was established to honor the work of Kathryn West who was the founding leader of Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer®, an initiative that brings awareness of and resources to patients and families impacted by a cancer diagnosis.

Linda House, president of the Cancer Support Community, presented the inaugural Kathryn West Inspiration Award to Andy Tao and Jeanne Beesley for their relentless support and advocacy of patients and caregivers who have been touched by cancer. Tao and Beesley entered their own cancer journey when Tao was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia 20 months ago. Tao and Beesley have been the official photographers for Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer® for the past 10 years.

“After learning of her cancer diagnosis in 2016, Kathryn exhibited a combination of passion and strength that was evident in her work,” House said. “In honor of the way she inspired us all, we established the Kathryn West Inspiration Award.”

In addition, Kim Thiboldeaux, CEO of the Cancer Support Community, said, “Kathryn may not be here with us physically, but her inspiration flows through champions like Andy Tao and Jeanne Beesley whom we are honored to recognize as the inaugural recipients of this prestigious award.”

“My wife Jeanne and I will do our best to accept and represent this award not for ourselves but for Kathryn and all the people that she helped through the years and all the people that we hope we can help through the years,” Tao said.

“Kathryn West was one of the original co-founders of Breakaway from Cancer® and her vision and tireless commitment for more than a decade were instrumental in the birth and growth of the national initiative. Today, Breakaway from Cancer® has grown into a partnership between Amgen and six independent nonprofit organizations dedicated to empowering patients with education, resources and hope, offering a broad range of services to people affected by cancer,” said Christophe Bourdon, general manager for Amgen’s US Oncology Business. “Kathryn was a true inspiration and her influence will live on through Breakaway and individuals like Andy Tao and Jeanne Beasley who continue in their courageous advocacy for others.”