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Public relations awards from the national Public Relations Society of America showered on cancer survivor.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Dianne Danowski Smith A resident of Beaverton, Dianne Danowski Smith, received national, regional and local honors from the national Public Relations Society of America for her community service. She is the first practitioner to receive all three awards in a single year. 

Since 2012, Danowski Smith has chaired the Business Advocacy Council of the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce. She now serves on the Beaverton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Danowski Smith also serves on the 2017 board of directors of the Oregon Bioscience Association and on the board of Project Access Now, which is dedicated to improving the health of the community by creating access to care and services for those most in need.

Danowski Smith served as president of Public Relations Society of America's Portland Metro Chapter in 2006 and received the chapter's William M. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. In 2012, she was inducted into the Public Relations Society of America College of Fellows.

But her most powerful story is a personal one. In fall 2013, Danowski Smith was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer. After enduring a regimen of surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, Danowski Smith embraced her experience by using her communication skills to serve the community and help others.

The result was Answer2Cancer, which came to life to serve cancer patients and caregivers in 2016. It required a year of planning. Danowski Smith found the venue, booked the speakers and gathered enough sponsorships that the event could be offered free to anyone who wanted to attend. She coordinated the media outreach, established the social media presence and coordinated information for the website.

Today, Answer2Cancer is a 501(c)(3) organization and Danowski Smith is taking the lead in her role as founder and chief survivorship officer.

By Mandy Feder-Sawyer
Reporter, Beaverton Valley Times
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