Civic Leadership Award Honoree 2011

Jonny Imerman

Founder, Chief Mission Officer - Imerman Angels

Jonny Imerman is a young adult cancer survivor who founded Imerman Angels, a non-profit organization that connects a cancer fighter (or caregiver) with someone who has fought and survived the same cancer. Here is the story:

At 26 years old in 2001, Jonny was diagnosed with testicular cancer. After doctors surgically removed one of his testicles, he did five months of chemotherapy and became cancer-free. But almost a year later, four tumors popped up again near his spine. After another surgery, an 11-inch incision, and three months of recovery, Jonny was back in remission.

During his cancer fight, he realized what needed to change in the cancer world. Despite loving support from family and friends, he was unable to find a cancer survivor like him. Jonny wondered: “What if every cancer fighter could talk to a cancer survivor, who not only had beaten the same type of cancer, but who also was around the same age and gender as the fighter?” The cancer survivor would be an angel - walking, living proof that the fighter could win too. That amazing connection would provide inspiration, knowledge, and hope. This is why he created Imerman Angels.

Imerman Angels carefully matches and pairs up a person touched by cancer (a cancer fighter or survivor) with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel). Cancer caregivers (spouses, parents, children and other family and friends of fighters) also receive 1-on-1 connections with other caregivers and survivors. These 1-on-1 relationships inspire hope and offer the chance to ask personal questions and receive support from someone who is uniquely familiar with the experience. The service is absolutely free and helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, at any age, living anywhere in the world. Today, Imerman Angels has more than 4,000 cancer survivors and more than 1,500 caregivers in its network.

Imerman Angels was chosen as Haute Living’s #1 Charity in Chicago in 2010; Chicago Scene’s #1 Charity in Chicago in 2010; Chicago Scene’s #1 Charity in Chicago in 2008; and Chicago Social’s #1 Charity in Chicago in 2007. Imerman Angels has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Harpo Radio’s “Oprah and Friends” with Dr. Oz, NBC Chicago News, CBS Chicago News, ABC Chicago News, WGN Chicago News, FOX Chicago News, FOX Detroit News, ESPN Radio Chicago, WJR Radio Detroit, Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit Free Press, HOUR Detroit, LIVESTRONG Quarterly, CURE Magazine, Oncology Nursing News, and Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. Jonny received the 2010 Jefferson Award for Public Service; 2010 University of Michigan Humanitarian Service Award; 2009 Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults ‘Hope Award’; and 2007 Daily Candy ‘Sweetest Thing’ Award.

It’s for his positive contribution to the lives of people in our community who need it most, enthusiasm for life and community service that The Twilight Benefit bestows Jonny Imerman with the 2011 Twilight Benefit Civic Leadership Award.

Jonny Immerman accepts award at the 2011 Twilight Awards Gala Cruise

"Receiving the Twilight Foundation's award was a HUGE, HUGE honor for me, but it's really not an individual award. It's a TEAM award. We're all so flattered. Imerman Angels is the largest operator of 1on1 peer cancer support, and we're so honored that Twilight acknowledges the powerful work that our team does, and can do! On behalf of our whole crew, THANK YOU and let's make sure that no ever fights cancer alone!!"

-Jonny Immerman

Return to Awards Page >>
Home • About Us • Events • Photos • Press • Give • Contact • Privacy Policy   Follow Us