Meet Unmasque Award honoree: Lana Clay

Posted on Posted in Uncategorized

This year, at Unmasque Cancer, we will proudly present the first-ever Unmasque Awards! We loved reading all of the nominations and will be featuring the honorees here on our blog in the coming weeks. The story of our first Unmasque Award recipient, who is being honored in the Impact category, is an incredibly meaningful one. Lana Clay was nominated by a colleague, who wrote, “For as long as I have known Lana, she has gone above and beyond to support the members of the cancer community around her.” She went on to list the many ways in which Lana gives back to the cancer community by sharing her story as a young adult survivor, and how she provides support and guidance to others who are struggling. Needless to say, our committee was incredibly compelled by her story and unanimously recommended that she receive this award. 

What the committee didn’t know was that Lana is also a Samfund grant recipient!

So, we are especially proud and excited to honor Lana in this way. As her story below illustrates, she is a perfect example of someone who is able to give back tenfold after receiving support of her own. We hope you’ll join us on April 29th when she receives this well-deserved award!

I am a proud 25 year ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) survivor, treated at University of California at Irvine Medical Center in the early 1990s at age 3. I have a unique childhood survivor story because I have had secondary comorbidites into my adulthood.

I have immersed myself in studies, and my education includes three Masters Degrees in Public Health Professions Education, Community Health Development, and Business of Bioscience. Additionally, I am completing my Doctorate in Epidemiology, specifically quantifying health data through technological modalities.

My experiences on both sides of the bedside have empowered my philanthropic involvement. I offer a unique perspective to cancer community members. It is my honor to share some of my most recent research, community service, and collaborations at both a local and national level.

Looking back on 2016, I proudly shared my survivorship story at fifteen Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation events. I helped create a social media strategic plan to outreach to rare disease advocates through a new tech company, WeHealth and helped assemble the inaugural Cancer Database Hackathon at USC, to take place in April. I have concurrently propelled the network development of young adult cancer survivors to improve personal fitness goals supported by Cancer to 5K Ulman Fund.

I have also met to discuss and share research needs to establish donor relationships in support of terminally ill cancer patients sponsored by the Make-a-Wish Foundation Los Angeles. My love for music has inspired me to merge the music industry and cancer survivors together, as I am also a 2016 recipient of the Living the Dream Foundation. I continue to encourage young adult cancer survivors to get out and live, through radical trips sponsored by First Descents.

I enjoy utilizing various social media platforms to link young adult cancer survivors with resources and scholarships, such as financial support through Stripes of a Warrior. I believe in attending supportive cancer conferences, such as Stupid Cancer‘s OMG and CancerCon and the LLS Blood Cancer Conference. I also serve the Ronald McDonald House of Orange County, through management of annual events, including the Walk for Kids, High Tea Fashion Show, and golf tournament and have displayed my eternal gratitude to UCI through my commitment to the development of the inaugural Anti-Challenge 5K. Lastly, I serve as a committee member of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, where I helped create the first Orange County So Cal Cancer Connection Young Adult Group, building connections among young adult cancer survivors and patients through sharing experiences and resources. I am also a proud 2016 Samfund grant recipient. With my grant, I was able to purchase supplementary school supplies and wardrobe essentials, including compression garment bras that helped to diminish the pain I’m in daily.

It is my honor to receive this award. I humbly accept this for all the lives lost, for all those fighting currently, and in hopes that I will one day contribute to the eradication of this disease. 

3 thoughts on “Meet Unmasque Award honoree: Lana Clay

  1. Wow!
    You have an amazing story and I’m sure your parents are bursting with pride having a daughter who survives, conquers, and gives back tenfold….what a wonderful example of paying it forward.

  2. You are an inspiration to all who meet you, I am proud to call you my friend and fellow survivor.

  3. Lana, I’m so proud of you and honored to know you. What an awesome testimony, keep up the phenomenal work you are doing for us survivors out there and everyone you impact through dedicated effort!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *