[Translated] This year’s distinguished member has provided leadership to both FCRA and NCRA in their roles as Treasurer, President-elect, President and immediate past President. In addition to the elected positions, she has served on innumerable committees and presidencies for FCRA and seventeen NCRA committees. She is now retired, but remains a volunteer as treasurer of the FCRA Foundation. Your achievements and awards are too many to mention.
She is my friend, just as she is my friend. Cancer registrars have historically overcame adversity to gain respect and recognition, but nothing like what she went through. She was a political prisoner in Cuba. All her belongings were confiscated, stripped of her career and dignity. She was arrested and spent time in solitary confinement – A concrete room, a dungeon painted a bright pink. The only light came from a crack under the door of his cell. They tried to brainwash it and their only crime was to reject communism.
She finally gained his freedom and was allowed to come to the United States. She kissed the floor in Miami, knowing she was finally free to talk, learn, and be an individual. Something we’ve all taken for granted.
She was able to find a job at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, but was not satisfied until she was able to communicate in the language of her new country. She learned English by watching TV and became proficient in his new language. She did not stop there; She was the coordinator of the cancer program in Jackson and volunteered her time in the League against Cancer in Miami. When I say volunteer, I do not mean a couple of hours a week, she was there every night.
She is eternally grateful to her new country and profession. She was NCRA’s treasurer and a member of the FCRA board when both associations hit their lowest point. She not only gave her time, but also helped financially. She believes in returning what she received and has given over and over again. Your Curriculum Vitae is 12 pages long and you can not help wondering how it did it. She is an inspiration to everyone who has met her, received the award for services to the member distinguished by NCRA in 2002.
FCRA at that time did not have a Distinguished Member Award and everyone on the current board believes that she is. We are here to rectify our mistake. It is with great pleasure and honor to introduce the Distinguished Member of FCRA – Martha Oliva.