Dr. Lynette Gibson, director of research in the Mary Black School of Nursing, received the Susan Eison Spirit Award on Saturday, November 8 at the American Cancer Society Black & White Ball in Greenville.
This award was created as a tribute to the memory of Susan Eison, a long-time volunteer with the American Cancer Society, and recognizes individuals that have demonstrated a deep, long-term commitment to the fight against cancer.
The annual presentation of the Susan Eison Spirit Award, recognizing individuals who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to the fight against cancer, will be made to Dr. Lynette Gibson, associate professor and director of research in Nursing, USC Upstate.
Taking a journey with cancer is rarely a positive thing, but for Dr. Gibson and the thousands of lives she has touched through her work and volunteerism, it has been extraordinary. Gibson has a self-described “love of battling cancer” which began several decades ago. As a nursing student at the Medical University of South Carolina, she began teaching people ways to live healthy lives, including the importance of early detection of cancer. During her time as a nursing student, she worked on the surgical oncology unit at the Clinical Research Center at the National Institute of Health. As a master’s and doctoral student at Clemson University, Gibson conducted research on social support of African-American cancer patients. Then, at the University of South Carolina, she continued conducting psychosocial research and eventually developed the Gibson Model of Inner Resources©, which determined that a sense of coherence or endurance, hope, and spirituality influence the ability of African-American breast cancer survivors to cope psychologically.
Over the past five years, Gibson has continued psychosocial research on early detection of breast cancer in African-American women, developing the Save Our Breasts program to determine whether it changes women’s beliefs about mammography screening and leads them to have regular mammograms.
Gibson has been an active American Cancer Society volunteer, serving in various capacities. These include serving as a division board member, legislative ambassador, Leadership Summit presenter, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer committee member, Relay for Life advisor and Upstate Leadership Council member. Most recently, she recruited volunteers for the Cancer Prevention Study-3 and currently serves on the Upstate Executive Council. Throughout the years, she has continuously provided community education using American Cancer Society materials and research findings.
“I owe a debt of gratitude to the American Cancer Society for making such a vital impact on my life,” said Gibson. “I continue to do what I love best – to promote cancer control activities so that we can celebrate more birthdays.”
The Susan Eison Spirit Award was created as a tribute to the memory of Susan Eison, a long-time American Cancer Society volunteer. Past recipients of the award are: Jo Weathers, Jan Rollins, Pat Tate, Peggy Baxter, Sybil Davis, Margaret Edwards, Barkley Rickman & Anne Elsey, Marsha Stron and Diane Gluck.