TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With a mission to lessen the impact of cancer on families, Ontario-based Nanny Angel Network was named the $100,000 grand prize winner of the Astellas Oncology Changing Cancer Care (C3) Prize.

Now in its fourth year, the C3 Prize is a challenge that funds the best ideas beyond medicine to improve cancer care for patients, caregivers and their loved ones. The Nanny Angel Network embodies this goal by providing free, specialized, relief child care for mothers battling cancer. The only organization of its kind in Canada, the Nanny Angel Network was established in 2009 by Audrey Guth, cancer survivor and mother of four, after she found a gap in health and social services for mothers with cancer and their children. The Nanny Angel Network Program for Children gives children the tools to cope with their grief and provides stability, normalcy and support during a challenging time.

“Moms, particularly, in underserved populations, are often forced to choose between caring for their children and going for treatment, and such a serious diagnosis can leave kids feeling sad, scared and anxious,” says Guth. “I am grateful for the opportunity to expand the reach and impact of Nanny Angel Network as we seek to ease the burden of living with cancer for families.”

A staggering one in five children and youth will battle mental health issues during their lifetime. A traumatic experience, including the serious illness of a parent, can increase the chances of mental health issues by 50 per cent. Nanny Angel Network’s specially trained Nanny Angels are helping children to cope with their big feelings and working to mitigate mental health issues before they start.

With the funds from the C3 Prize, Nanny Angel Network intends to expand the reach and impact of the organization. Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the organization, the first NAN satellite office opened in July 2019 serving Kingston and surrounding area.

“Astellas is extremely proud to help advance the inspiring ideas from this year’s winners, who are actively working to transform what it means to live with a cancer diagnosis, and improve the patient experience throughout the cancer journey,” said Mark Reisenauer, senior vice president, Oncology Business Unit at Astellas.

About Nanny Angel Network
NAN provides free childcare support throughout a mother’s recovery or during the palliative care and bereavement period through volunteer Nanny Angels. These volunteers are specially-trained by NAN to help children navigate their moms’ cancer.

During visits, Nanny Angels arrive with fun age-appropriate activities designed to engage children, help bring a sense of normalcy back to their lives and reduce stress and anxiety the child may be experiencing. NAN volunteers have professional designations, including: teachers, early childhood educators, social workers, nurses, professional nannies and students from education and medical programs.

Since NAN was founded in 2009, it has supported hundreds of families in the Greater Toronto Area, providing more than 22,000 hours of service, almost 7,000 total visits, supporting more than 750 families.

About the Astellas Oncology C3 Prize
The Astellas Oncology C3 Prize, launched in 2016, is a global challenge that aims to address the complexities of the cancer journey by funding the best ideas in cancer care beyond medicine. The C3 Prize sparks innovative developments in cancer care, tackling cancer challenges by awarding the winners with prize money and connecting them with resources and support. The C3 Prize directly reflects the mission of Astellas Oncology: striving to make every day better for those impacted by cancer. Astellas maintains no ownership in the ventures funded by the C3 Prize. For more information, visit the website at https://www.C3Prize.com.

About Astellas
Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. For more information on Astellas, please visit our website at http://www.astellas.us. You can also follow us on Twitter at @AstellasUS, Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AstellasUS or LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/astellas-pharma.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Julia Catton
Manager, Marketing, Communications and Events
Nanny Angel Network
julia@nannyangelnetwork.com
416 730 0025 x5

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/d192a198-84fe-432f-b2cf-49d1bacca48b