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Gilda’s Club Nashville honors VICC’s Martin

September 4, 2014 | Kate Venmar

Longtime patient advocate and breast cancer survivor Pam Martin is the 2014 recipient of the Nancy Saturn Award of Inspiration from Gilda’s Club Nashville, an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community.

Pam Martin receives the Nancy Saturn Award

Pam Martin, left, receives the Nancy Saturn Award from Gilda’s Club CEO Sandy Towers, center, and the club’s program director, Felice Apolinsky.

Martin, a cancer research lab manager and advocate for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, is the fifth recipient of the award, named for the late Nancy Saturn, a founding board member of Gilda’s Club Nashville.

“Pam lives life to the fullest, whether the days ahead look long or short,” said Sandy Towers, CEO of Gilda’s Club Nashville, who presented the award in July. “She takes advantage of every single day.”

Martin, who manages the lab of Albert Reynolds, Ph.D., Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and professor of Cancer Biology, was diagnosed with breast cancer more than 20 years ago.

She noted that while Gilda’s Club cannot change a diagnosis, it transforms lives. The club offers free “life-changing” support groups, educational workshops and lectures for men, women and children with any type of cancer, and for their friends and family.

These are “her people,” Martin said in describing her group. “We are all going down the same track, and every once in a while we go off the rails on a crazy train,” she said. “What we do is get each other back on the rails.”

Martin’s contribution to Gilda’s Club is a family affair. Her husband, David, and 83-year-old mother have been dedicated to the mission of Gilda’s Club for as long as she has.

For everyone touched by cancer, the free services provided by Gilda’s Club are “priceless,” Martin said.

For more information about Gilda’s Club visit: http://www.gildasclubnashville.org/.