Derrick Awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Cancer Society
Carla Derrick was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Cancer Society on Tuesday, February 9, by Brenda Carlin, ACS Community Manger-Development for the Eastern Missouri Region, for her 51 years of dedication to the organization.
Carla started her volunteer career with the American Cancer Society in 1959 when the local Community Council president asked Carla to join the council as publicity chair. At that time only one in four were surviving cancer, and the only treatments commonly available were radiation and surgery.
Carla jumped at this opportunity, as her mother had been recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She felt this was a way for her to give back to the community and educate others about cancer. Fortunately Carla’s mother lived another 22 years. Carla spent approximately two to three years in this position, writing articles for the local and area newspapers.
During this time the local council conducted the Cancer Crusade, a house to house campaign for funds, during which volunteers distributed leaflets listing “The 7 Danger Signals of Cancer”. Carla took a Crusade each year for many years.
In approximately 1962 she became the public education chairman. She traveled throughout the community educating school groups, organizations and the general public on caner awareness and detection. The ACS provided materials, movies, posters, etc.
In the late 60’s or early 70’s Carla was asked to head a group called Y-PAC. This was a teen service group that helped with the local community crusade and performed service projects. They raised money for a local medical closet for cancer patients, including wigs.
Carla was also a member of the Missouri Division Board for several terms. She was on the public issues and public education committees. The public issues committee worked on the first smoke free legislation during this time. It was defeated by the tobacco lobbyists for many years, but finally passed after she was no longer on the board.
While on the Public Education committee she coordinated all cancer related materials for grades K-12 with the new Missouri education objectives so they were user friendly for teachers.
By this time Carla had become the library supervisor for the Clark County R-1 school libraries, and made sure all of the district’s classroom teachers had ACS materials for their teaching units.
Carla today remains a member of the local community council board and serves as secretary of the board.
In 198, she organized a project called Smoke Free Class of 2000, helping children to make the commitment to remain smoke free through their high school graduation. Her school district paid for t-shirts for the 100 class members of this graduating class. During their school career these children had floats in local parades promoting smoke free kids.
In 2000, Relay For Life came to Clark County and Carla Derrick was the chairperson. Carla chaired this event until 2007, and still remains strong on the committee, as well as holding other titles such as team captain, participant, Advocacy Chair, and Mission Chair.
Carla has also assisted with the local American Cancer Society Daffodil Days campaign since it’s inception over 9 years ago. Carla takes orders and does deliveries.
She is a two time Celebration on the Hill ambassador. In 2001 she went as an ambassador for Missouri and was the alternate in 2006, and then was selected to attend in 2006 in place of the survivor, who could not attend.
Recently, Carla recruited a licensed cosmetologist to take training for the Look Good/Feel Better program, and helped her conduct her first meeting with four attendees. Carla has also worked on the Reach to Recovery program.
Carla and another cancer survivor started a breast cancer survivor’s group last July, and the group voted to expand to include survivors of all types of cancer.
Carlin stated, “ I have worked with Carla for my entire tenure with the American Cancer Society. In those 8 years, Carla has demonstrated a willingness to succeed at finding the cure, funding the cure and educating everyone around her about who and what the American Cancer Society is and does. I am proud to work with Carla as a volunteer and consider her a friend that I look up to.”