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Cancer Support Center honors nurse for her many volunteer efforts

Nurse Lisa Gravitt will be presented with the 2019 Desser Spirit of Life Award by the Cancer Support Center on Wednesday, March 13.
The honor will be given to Gravitt, a nurse navigator at Palos Health, during the organization’s annual meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the center, 2028 Elm Road in Homewood.
“We are beyond thrilled to honor Lisa Gravitt for her dedication to bringing vital supportive services to patients in partnership with the center,” said Sue Armato, executive director of the Cancer Support Center. “We honor her dedication to the center and appreciate everything she has contributed to our organization.”
The award is given in memory of Dr. Richard K. Desser, a renowned oncologist who in the Cancer Support Center’s early days “was very supportive of our mission to provide psychosocial support to those battling cancer at a time when that was not considered important to survivorship,” Armato said.
Gravitt has been volunteering at the center the past 17 years. She started after a colleague at Ingalls Memorial Hospital told her about the work being done at the center. At the time, Gravitt was an oncology research nurse. Over the years, she has volunteered at fundraising events, co-facilitated breast cancer networking groups and worked with Palos Health to create a partnership with the Cancer Support Center that was beneficial to her patients.
“I always refer patients to the center and have met so many wonderful people through the many interactions there,” Gravitt said. “The staff and other volunteers there are very special people with extraordinary gifts to share. I have learned so much, and my life has truly been enriched by (playing) even a small part of the center.
“I am in awe of how the center has grown and touched so many lives over the years. I am honored to be associated with the center and will continue to volunteer, refer patients and do whatever I can to help spread the loving message for years to come,” she said.
The Cancer Support Center gives strength, guidance and support to anyone living with a cancer diagnosis, as well as to their loved ones. The center is a community-based, volunteer-driven, donor-supported organization. Programs, resources and services are delivered free of charge by professional therapists, counselors, nutritionists and experts in a warm, welcoming and nurturing setting. 
The Cancer Support Center is based in Homewood and now has a second site at 19645 S. LaGrange Road in Mokena.
The annual meeting and honors program is open to all. For additional information, call the Cancer Support Center at 708-798-9171.

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