Pat Mendez and others pose with her Christine Franklin Award

Foundation Honors Women Who Made a Difference

Pat Mendez, president of Midnight Sun Foundation, received the Christine Franklin Award at the 14th annual Breast Cancer luncheon, held for the first time at the VacaValley Wellness Center on Oct. 13, 2016.

The award, created by NorthBay Healthcare Foundation, recognizes those who have served as community role models in their support for women, health education and local programs.

Receiving the award was a total surprise and such an honor, Mendez told the audience as she choked back tears. She is a former NorthBay Healthcare employee and a longtime advocate and confidante for anyone facing breast cancer in Solano County.

She was working for NorthBay in physical therapy when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2001. She recalled how supportive her NorthBay family was at the time, and how they've continued to support her, even after she left the organization.

“God blessed me,” she told the crowd. “I didn't need financial help and I had the wonderful support of my NorthBay family. But so many people out there are not as fortunate.”

She joined Solano Midnight Sun a few years ago because it perfectly fit in with her goals to provide hope and support for breast cancer patients. The local nonprofit offers mammogram scholarships for the under insured and temporary financial assistance of basic living expenses for those in need.

The award is named in honor of Christine Franklin, an avid NorthBay Guild volunteer who used her struggle with breast cancer to educate others about the importance of mammograms and health care. She lost her battle with the disease in June, 2011. The award, established after her death, has since been presented to Heidi Campini, Elizabeth Fry, Tina Benedict, Wendy Wasserman-Kellogg and Bridgit Strachan.