Dwight Vicks to Receive the John Peter Zenger Medal at Franklin EventMay 21, 2012
The Zenger Medal, by an open-industry nomination process, is awarded to an individual employed in the graphic communications industry within New York, northern New Jersey or northwestern Pennsylvania who has exemplified—outside of his/her professional role—exemplary character in the form of selfless courage, charity, activism or service.
Vicks was nominated for his work in supporting thyroid cancer research, including the establishment of the International Thyroid Oncology Group (ITOG) for which he serves as treasurer and secretary. Vicks’ wife, Jean, was diagnosed with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in 1999, at which time very little was known about this rare form of cancer and afflicted individuals were faced with few options.
Because his personal investigation of the disease showed little information about it and the doctors and medical facilities that were researching it and trying to develop treatment protocols were both scarce and geographically dispersed, Vicks decided to cut back on his industry and community involvement and devote all his time, energy and resources to thyroid cancer. In 2005, he resigned his position as treasurer of Printing Industries of America, even though there was an excellent probability that he would have been elevated at some point to its chairmanship.
Through contact with the physicians and institutions, he was able to bring this small medical community together in regular informal meetings to discuss treatment options and clinical trials. In 2007, Vicks was the driving force behind the establishment of the International Thyroid Oncology Group (ITOG), a non-profit organization comprised of endocrinologists, oncologists, thyroid surgeons and radiation specialists from North America, Europe and Australia. As of this date, the ITOG membership consists of more than 50 of the world’s leading physicians and research scientists who focus on the treatment of thyroid cancer that has metastasized outside the thyroid gland.
In 2011, Vicks was named by Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, one of the top cancer facilities in America, as a member of “The One Hundred” for his unflagging optimism. He has quietly and singlehandedly raised over $500,000 in the race for an MTC cure and subsequently started a broader fundraising effort called “Team Jean” which is already halfway to its goal of raising an additional $500,000 in 2012 and anticipates a similar target in 2013.
For more information on how to contribute to “Team Jean” or to register for the Franklin Event, contact either PIA President Tim Freeman (tfreeman@PIAlliance.org, (716-691-3211) or Vice President Vicki Keenan (vkeenan@PIAlliance.org,(908-233-4124) .