2016 Survivor - Dawn Scott
How has the nominee positively coped with adversity in their cancer journey?
Dawn Scott originally underwent two substantial surgeries to remove her primary tumor from her right subclavian vein. Shortly thereafter, it was determined that she had metastasis to her lungs, with over twenty nodules identified. After finishing four rounds of chemotherapy, she was told that no further rounds would be done, as the treatment had had no effect on the metastatic tumors in her lungs. The nominee was not told at that time but the doctors involved had estimated that she had between two and six months to live. She coped by working hard with her professors to finish her last three semesters of undergraduate education. During her last semester her left subclavian vein, where her infusaport had been placed, collapsed. She went through twelve stent placements, all of them failed and she was forced to endure the pain and loss of function in her arm for years while her body developed collateral vessels to deal with more appropriate blood return from that arm.
Through all of this adversity the nominee continued to work hard at her academic pursuits and graduated with honor from the University of Northern Colorado. Though she knew that her condition was termed "stable" and she would most likely never have a "cancer free" day for the rest of her life, she applied and was accepted the law school at the University of Wyoming. In her first semester she had to defer, as the left subclavian vein again became a problem. True to her standard form she returned the law school the following fall and graduated and began practice in Wyoming in 2005. She has had daily treatment from 2001-present with anticoagulants to keep her from developing clots in the deep veins of her upper extremities. Dawn gets up to go to work and help others every day and is thankful for each day as it comes, rather than when it is over. She has walked trough very hard times and though she will never be cancer free, she has beaten cancer because she chooses her own path to help others despite the outcomes of her treatment.
Give a unique examples of how the nominee Gets Busy Living in their daily life.
Dawn gets busy living everyday. As an eighteen-year survivor, she works full time and has been a foster mother to three children. Around her busy workday and volunteering, she always finds the time, activities and love needed to brighten the life of her current, eighteen month old, foster daughter. Dawn has very busy days between her career, volunteer positions, husband, friends and family, but she is always willing to take time for others in need. She loves to travel and visit people regularly and loves to have new experiences. Basically, she loves living each day to its fullest and always remembers to be thankful for all of the days she has the privilege to enjoy. At her core she loves to get busy living by reaching out and helping her fellow human beings. She does this both professionally and personally. She helps people locally and around the world. Some she has met in person, some she will meet in person one day and some she will only ever now through phone or internet. Dawn is unique in the regard that it does not matter how she has contact, that person becomes someone she knows and wants to be of help to, if she can. She spends her time helping other so that they can "Get Busy Living" and this helps her do the same thing.
What is an examples of how the nominee has given back to their local and Stupid Cancer community?
Dawn is always looking to reach other survivors. She was a committee member for her local Relay for Life for ten years. She has been responsible for numerous Stupid Cancer meet-ups in her hometown. She was also a large driving force in the organization and execution of the Stupid Cancer boot camp in Casper, WY in March of 2014. As a young adult survivor she promotes awareness of Stupid Cancer almost everywhere she goes. She is currently the ACS-CAN State Lead Ambassador for Wyoming. She brings that awareness to the state level when she attends the annual meetings of the Wyoming Comprehensive Cancer Control Consortium and when she attends lobby day for ACS-CAN at the Wyoming capitol in Cheyenne. Dawn also, through her story and the stories of those she knows, raises awareness relating to young adults with cancer when she meets with her senators and congressperson in Washington, DC each September. She connected EHE fighters, caregivers, families and friends from around the world in September of 2013. She started a Facebook page for these members dealing with an extremely rare soft tissue sarcoma. Without this page many members from around the world may have never had any contact with another person with their same diagnosis. This page has provided insight and created a peer group for many who never believed that they belonged anywhere. Through all of her efforts she tries to expand knowledge and awareness to help all cancer patients, but through her story specifically brings the focus back to improving the young adult experience. Though, the story she uses for this is about her, nothing she does ever seems to be about her. She truly does what she does in an effort to use her story to help anyone else that she can. She is the most giving person that I have ever known.
How has the nominee impacted you directly?
Dawn has completely changed my life. She has shown me how we as humans should look at and treat each other. She has taught me through her actions, that our true mark on the world is not what we as individuals accomplish, but what we as individuals help others and the groups that we are a part of to accomplish. I have witnessed how Stupid Cancer has positively impacted her and thus it has so impacted me. I have listened to her share her pain over and over to benefit others and give them hope and strength. I am lucky, she is my inspiration for all things good in life, I get to see her every day.