2003 Nurses of the Year


Sharon Manson is a nurse practitioner at Rush Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical Center in Chicago. She has been caring for leukemia and lymphoma patients for over 15 years. She currently is the coordinator of the leukemia program and cares for patients with acute leukemia, lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndromes. To quote one of her 15 nomination letters, Dr. Venugopal writes . . .

"The splendor of human history is not in wars won, dynasties formed or financial empires built, but in caring for the suffering. If I were asked to name one individual who immediately comes to mind as the outstanding example of dedication to this cause, I would not hesitate to name Sharon. This exceptionally humane, compassionate and deeply motivated woman has achieved more to improve the care of leukemia and lymphoma patients than anyone else I know. She is a role model for all of our nurses. Her gestures of kindness and consideration teach all of us lessons not available in the wisest books."


Cathleen Kiely has been a pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurse Clinician at the University of Illinois Medical Center for nearly 10 years. The parents of one her patients wrote . . .

"Cathleen is different. We have seen her care for children of all ages, all colors and the most amazing thing is she cares about how they feel. We have seen her scold some parents for not seeming to care about their children's health. We have seen her get on her knees and play with the children when the children don't even feel like looking at you, and you know what? She will make them smile! We have also seen her cry, which I believe not too many people have seen. A person or an angel, whichever she is, we the parents and the patients at UIC are very lucky to have her there. If anyone deserves this award it would be her, although we all know she doesn't treat children the way she does to win awards, she does it because she cares."


Julia O'Malley is an Ambulatory Stem Cell Transplant nurse at Children's Memorial Hospital. Her patient Rebecca says . . .

"Nurse Julia is kind, funny, helps me not to be afraid and she is very good at her job!"

Her mom adds . . .

"Julia's compassion could be felt so quickly through the look in her eyes or the touch of her hand. She was always responsive with a positive approach, solution or idea. Julia taught me a lot about hope, humor and faith. Her outlook of life, her smile and encouragement brought strength to us in so many ways!"

Additionally, Dr. Kletzel wrote in his nomination . . .

"Julia is a cancer survivor herself. She is very intelligent, always willing to learn, very compassionate and helps patients and families through difficult times. Since she joined us in our Ambulatory Stem Cell Unit our care of transplant patients has improved. Her contribution is great, appropriate, supportive and above all very professional."