Each year, Project H.E.R. honors an oncology patient, healthcare professional, or community individual who has served cancer patients in some special way. They are recognized with the Sue Merrill Spirit of Survivorship Award, named after Susan Merrill, the nurse and cancer survivor who started Project H.E.R.
Sue retired from The Corvallis Clinic in 1996, when she learned that she had breast cancer. A year later, Sue returned to The Clinic and turned her professional nursing and personal experience into an avocation by becoming the Breast Cancer Coordinator for any patient in our community diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2003, Sue realized she couldnʼt do it alone. In order to reach out to the entire region, she needed others. Thus, Project H.E.R. was created, to extend Sueʼs efforts. In 2006, she started offering self-breast exam classes, which she still teaches today.
Any patient, healthcare professional, or community individual is an eligible nominee if they have served cancer patients in Benton, Linn, or Lincoln counties in some special way. The winner does not need to be a breast cancer survivor – only that they have made a significant and sustaining contribution in cancer care and survivorship, and have contributed efforts are altruistic in nature and not for financial gain.