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Nephew receives 2009 Elizabeth Heins award

Overall, Nephew's experience with cancer is one that has forever changed her perspective, which is why she has since tried to get as much out of life as possible.

"I think you realize that you're not immortal," said Nephew. "It's something you never think about and all of a sudden you realize no one lives forever and that you need to pack in as much as you can."

Though she thanked everyone for the award, Nephew said her state of shock she believed she forgot to pay tribute to the memory of Elizabeth Heins.

"I never knew her, but I was at the Treasure Chests meetings when people were saying we've got to do something for Elizabeth," Nephew recalled of the time in 2005 shortly after Heins succumbed to cancer. "That's when they came up with the award which is a great way to honor Elizabeth and all that I understand she stood for."

Though she is the recipient of this year's award, a humbled Nephew said she felt there are "many other nominees who are probably more worthy than I am."

"I'm still feeling like how can this be me, even though I have this award that tells me so. It's just amazing," said Nephew. "It's unbelievable. And, these are big shoes to fill, too."

Since established, the Elizabeth Heins Inspirational Survivorship Award has been given to Gracelyn Murphy, Cyndi Topnick, Marie Beemer and Libby Goller. In addition to recipients receiving a plaque, their photographs are placed on permanent display at the CVPH Fitzpatrick Cancer Center.

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