In 1999, when TV anchorwoman Ysabel Duron learned she had cancer, she turned the camera on herself as she went through treatment. The resulting three-part documentary won an award. But more importantly, it began a new calling for Duron.
Today, the 66-year-old is the CEO of Latinas Contra Cancer, a San Jose, California-based organization she founded in 2003 to educate, support and provide essential services to low-income Spanish speakers suffering from the disease.
This week, Encore.org named Duron as one of seven recipients of the Purpose Prize, which recognizes people over the age of 60 who are combining their passion and experience for the common good. The honor comes with $100,000 each for two winners and $25,000 each for five winners.
Also among this year’s Purpose Prize winners is 71-year-old Ed Nicholson, a retired Navy Captain. In 2005, when Nicholson was a patient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, an idea came to him as he observed the many disabled veterans around him. Nicholson founded Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, a Maryland-based organization that helps wounded veterans heal from the physical, mental and emotional toll of war by teaching them about fly fishing.
As Encore.org founder Marc Freedman explained, this year’s Purpose Prize recipients “come from all walks of life, but hold one thing in common: Each is changing the world in what was once seen as the ‘leftover’ years.”
You can read about all seven Purpose Prize winners here.