The photo moved family and friends so much that Wilson entered the picture into the 2006 "Lilly Oncology on Canvas" art competition -; and went on to win first place in the United States. The art competition, started in 2004 by Eli Lilly and Company, honors the journeys that many face when confronted with a cancer diagnosis.
"When we launched 'Oncology on Canvas,' we hoped to create a forum where those affected by cancer could express their hopes and fears," said Dr. Richard Gaynor, vice president of cancer research for Lilly.
First diagnosed with lung cancer at age 23, Katherine -; a non-smoker -; began a long road of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Five years later and after six recurrences, she succumbed to her disease. In Wilson's photograph, titled "This is Not a Dress Rehearsal," a smiling Katherine and her father playfully remove their hats to display their bald heads -; Katherine's from her cancer treatments and her father's a result of his sympathetic shaving.
"Katherine's cancer diagnosis changed our family in unexpected ways," said Wilson. "From the earliest days, Katherine proved that she would not let this disease negatively impact the rest of her life. The photograph shows how much she believed that -; even in those days after first learning about her diagnosis."
Throughout her battle with cancer, Wilson said that her daughter continued making the best of every moment -; traveling around the world with friends and family, speaking at a cancer center and even graduating from nursing school just a few months before her passing. After receiving her first-place award, Wilson accepted a $10,000 donation to the cancer charity of her choice, the hospital where her daughter was treated, the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The 2008 competition, which is open to all U.S. and Puerto Rico residents, is currently looking for entries in the form of oil paintings, watercolors, acrylics, photography, pastels and mixed media. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2008.
For more information on how to enter the 2008 "Lilly Oncology on Canvas" competition and to receive a participant pack, call 800-734-4131 or visit www.LillyOncologyOnCanvas.com.
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