Photo caption: Thelma D. Jones (center) is flanked by (left to right) Amber Stevens, state lead ambassador from Louisiana; Gary Reedy, CEO, American Cancer Society and ACS CAN; Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN; and Jeff Martin, senior director, field advocacy training for ACS CAN.

Thelma D. Jones was named the State Lead Ambassador (SLA) of the Year by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) for her tireless volunteer and advocacy efforts to help make cancer a national priority.

This annual award is presented to a volunteer who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in advocating for cancer-related public policy.

“As the ACS CAN lead ambassador in the District, Thelma has inspired her fellow residents to advocate for the many cancer patients and survivors in Washington, DC and across the country,” said Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN. “We are grateful for Thelma’s outstanding contributions to public policies that can reduce death and suffering from cancer.”

ACS CAN is the nation’s largest cancer advocacy organization and supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. As the lead volunteer ambassador for DC, Jones works with lawmakers, staff members, and other volunteers to set legislative campaign goals for the state.

As a volunteer advocate for ACS CAN Jones participated in the National Moonshot Summit with Vice President Joe Biden at Howard University this past June. She has spoken to members of Congress alongside Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as part of the ACS CAN One Degree Campaign; served as a panelist on the topic of breast cancer with Dr. Jill Biden and Kathleen Sebelius, who was serving as secretary of health and human services at the time; and has been nominated as a White House Champion of Change.

Jones founded a breast cancer support group in Washington, DC to provide people with a supportive and safe space to share information and discuss their diagnosis for the first time. The group has been named the Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Support Group.

The award was presented on Sept. 11 in Washington, DC as part of the annual ACS CAN Leadership Summit and Lobby Day. More than 700 cancer patients, survivors, and their loved ones traveled to the nation’s capital to meet with their elected officials and urge them to make cancer a national priority.

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