The Emily Whitehead Foundation has been named a finalist for Life Sciences Pennsylvania's 2016 Patient Impact Award! The award recipient will be announced March 9, 2017 at Life Sciences Pennsylvania's Annual Dinner at the Philadelphia Convention Center.

The three finalists for the Patient Impact Award, which include Jefferson Health and Merck & Co., Inc. in addition to the Emily Whitehead Foundation, are chosen based on the criteria that the nominated company or organization has made a significant contribution to the quality of healthcare or length of life of patients in 2016.

The Emily Whitehead Foundation was nominated for the 2016 Patient Impact Award by Nicole Gularte. Nicole is a T-cell therapy patient and seven-time leukemia (ALL) survivor who, with encouragement from Emily Whitehead Foundation co-founder Thomas Whitehead, enrolled herself in the CAR T-cell trial at Penn Medicine.

In her nomination, Nicole wrote: "Thomas Whitehead saved my life by helping me when all hope was lost ... I can promise, no other organization deserves this more than their family and organization!"

"We feel very blessed to know Nicole," says Thomas Whitehead about the nomination. "She is an incredible fighter and never hesitates to help others even when she doesn't feel well. Nicole brings out the best in others, and we are humbled that she nominated the Emily Whitehead Foundation for such a prestigious award."

Adds co-founder Kari Whitehead, "We were extremely thrilled to learn that Nicole nominated us. Nicole is constantly raising awareness for cancer research, particularly for T-cell therapy, and supporting patients as they navigate treatment options."

The Emily Whitehead Foundation is a member organization of Life Sciences Pennsylvania. In 2015, the trade association—then known as Pennsylvania Bio—invited the Whitehead family to the BIO International Convention in Philadelphia, at which Emily Whitehead was presented with the BIO Superhero Award.

Among the prior recipients of the Patient Impact Award is pediatric hematologist-oncologist Dr. Stephan Grupp, who was recognized in 2014 for his work with T-cell therapy at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"It is an incredible honor to be chosen as a finalist," say the Whiteheads. "It will help us in our mission to bring more awareness to T-cell therapy so that more patients can receive this groundbreaking therapy."