Woman honored for cancer efforts

A local woman who started a nonprofit organization to raise funds toward a cure for the type of pediatric cancer from which her son died has been honored for her efforts.

The Middletown Community Foundation selected Lynn Whittington as the Columbus area’s annual Steel Magnolia Award honoree.

The award honors women of all ages who have face personal adversity, have overcome obstacles to positively impact the community and have shown exceptional strength, courage, compassion and leadership through their work, according to a news release.

Whittington’s nominator, Lisa Hill, said that Whittington experienced the greatest loss when her son Peyton died from terminal brain cancer in 2013. Hill said the reason Whittington deserves the Steel Magnolia award is because of the way she responded to the tragedy, by starting a Columbus chapter of the nonprofit organization The Cure Starts Now, called Peyton’s Angels. Hill noted that Whittington raises about $60,000 annually through fundraisers in Peyton’s honor, the news release said.

Each Steel Magnolia Award recipient designates an eligible charity of her choice to receive a $2,500 donation. Whittington chose the Columbus chapter of The Cure Starts Now.

Nominations by essay were solicited over the summer from the public in each of the 13 communities where AK Steel operates a facility. Volunteer judges from the various communities reviewed the essays of those who agreed to be considered for the award, and no more than one honoree in each community was selected based on the judges’ combined scores. Nominees were required to live near an AK Steel facility.

The program is administered by the Middletown Community Foundation and funded by the AK Steel Foundation.