Submissions open for 2023/24 Advocacy in Action Awards

A graphic with two overlapping speech bubbles and the caption Voices of Sarcoma.

by Cory Archibald, Communications Director, SPAGN

Each year, the Sarcoma Patient Advocacy Global Network (SPAGN) recognizes member groups who are innovating in the patient advocacy space with our Advocacy in Action Award. And submissions are OPEN for 2023/2024!

The projects are evaluated by a select committee made up of patient advocate leaders and experts in sarcoma care. The finalists are each given the opportunity to present their project at the SPAGN Annual Conference, and the winners are announced at a special awards dinner.

How to Submit Your Project for 2023/2024

Patient advocacy ensures that the patient voice is heard. Advocacy helps people take action and ultimately improve situations, achieve changes or fulfill unmet medical needs. The Advocacy in Action Award is our opportunity to shine a spotlight on the tremendous impact of patient advocacy in sarcoma care – for patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals or anyone interested in sarcomas.

This award celebrates and honors outstanding practices, projects, initiatives or campaigns and the creators working behind these activities.

All SPAGN members are eligible to participate, and submitted projects should be:

• sarcoma-specific (Soft Tissue, Bone, GIST, Desmoid, Chordoma)
• already completed or ongoing, not those in the planning stages

As usual, the 2023/2024 Advocacy in Action Awards will be granted to three projects.

The winning projects will receive:

    • 1st Prize    2,000 €
    • 2nd Prize   1,500 €
    • 3rd Prize    1,000 €

To apply, you will need to review the guidelines posted on the SPAGN website here, then download and complete your application form here.

The winners for this year’s awards will be invited to join us in Rome for the 2024 SPAGN Annual Conference scheduled for April 19-21, 2024 (further details coming soon).

Looking Back on the 2022 Winners

Last year’s winners were presented at the SPAGN annual conference in Dublin in May. We received many fascinating submissions from our member groups around the world, and as always had difficulty choosing only three projects.

The committee evaluated each submission carefully, settling on two 2nd Prize winners and one 1st Prize winner.

The 2nd Prize winners received 1,250 € each and the 1st Prize winner received 2,000 € to support their ongoing advocacy work.

The prize money for this year’s award was kindly donated by SPAGN member Trust Paola Gonzato Rete Sarcoma, led by SPAGN Board Member Ornella Gonzato, who founded Rete Sarcoma in memory of her sister.

The three winners this year were:

1st Prize - DigiSwasthya Foundation (India)

2nd Prize - Info Sarcomes (France)

2nd Prize - Fundacion Mari Paz Jimenez Casado (Spain)


2nd prize - Sarcoma Symptoms Awareness Campaign

By Info Sarcomes (France)

Info Sarcomes led a project to develop three short videos presenting the first symptoms that are currently observed in sarcoma: lump, bone pain, hematoma.

ALT TEXT: An animated gif of a video clip showing symptoms of sarcoma. Clicking on the photo takes you to the video which has captions in French.

One of the videos produced by Info Sarcomes to promote sarcoma symptom awareness and detection.

Click here to watch the video.


2nd Prize - FMPJC Scholarships/Aid for Training and Research in Sarcomas

By Fundación Mari Paz Jimenez Casado (Spain)

Fundación Mari Paz Jiménez Casado (FMPJC) funds a range of scholarships annually to promote the development of sarcoma treatment and prevention measures by granting scholarships in three critical areas: Academic Training, Clinical Training, and Research.

The scholarships are funded through either direct donations or fundraising events such as sports events, dinners, auctions, yard sales, FMPJC’s merchandising, etc. Volunteers provide the administrative resources necessary to oversee the program.


1st prize - Telemedicine For Cancer Care in Rural India

By DigiSwasthya Foundation (India)

In July 2020, Sandeep Kumar, a survivor of Ewing Sarcoma, started a groundbreaking initiative to provide remote healthcare in Sant Kabir Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, a rural area in northern India.

Initially conceived as a project to provide teleconsultation services for remote patients who did not have access to sarcoma experts or specialized care centers, the project evolved into a comprehensive solution that includes primary health checkups, expert opinions from specialists, accurate diagnoses, follow-up care, and support for medication, diagnostic tests, counseling, and skill development post treatment.

A collage of two photos showing patients in a rural clinic in Northern India receiving telehealth consultations and exams with the aid of Zoom.

Online Consultations at DigiSwasthya Telemedicine Centre, Sant Kabir Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, in August and December 2022.

You can read more about our 2022 winners and the impact they are having on patients’ lives in our previous blog by SPAGN volunteer Gabi Ott.

Four people pose for a photo with certificates of recognition that have just been awarded.

Pictured from Left to Right: Alberto Martinez Gutierrez of FMPJC (Spain), Angelika Sandakly of Info Sarcomes (France), Ornella Gonzato of SPAGN and Rete Sarcoma (Italy), and Sandeep Kumar of DigiSwasthya Foundation (India) after the presentation of the Advocacy in Action Award at the 13th SPAGN Annual Conference in Dublin, Ireland.ARTIS-Uli Deck

Now it’s up to you!

Further information on the Advocacy in Action Awards and project submissions can be found on our website.

We can’t wait to see your projects!

Bio: Cory Archibald is the Communications Director of SPAGN.

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