Cocktails and Chemo founder receives Getting Results Award from News 6

Foundation recognizes caregivers for their contribution, sacrifice

ORLANDO, Fla. – Amanda Evans-Clark is this week's Getting Results Award winner.

Clark is the founder of Cocktails and Chemo, a support group for what she calls the often forgotten caregivers of cancer patients.

Clark knows what it's like to be a caregiver for someone going through cancer treatments. 

She lost her husband, Joe, to colon cancer a year ago.

Clark used her experience, as tough as it was -- and still is -- to form Cocktails and Chemo, named for the weekly treatments she and her husband turned into dates.

"Joe and I used to love dirty martinis. We used to always have dirty martinis on Fridays.  That was like our date. So we had to kind of trade those for chemotherapy dates. It was a name we came up with one day," she said.

Every week, she joins friend Jennifer Cook to create gift bags that will be sent out across the country to unknowing caregivers. They're nominated by friends, relatives and sometimes the patients themselves.

"It's been absolutely incredible. Some of these people have said they just got home from the hospital, maybe they were entering into the hospice phase, and they get this package on their front doorstep. It's just for them," she said. "Just for the person who had to totally put their life on hold because someone they love is very sick. It's pretty special to feel special."

Clark and Cook fill the bags with what they call "things you might not buy for yourself." Lotions, makeup, art and inspirational books are some of the items she's included in the past. 

All of the items are donated, so each bag is unique.

"I know firsthand that it takes the whole family and everyone to take care of that person and your whole life is turned upside down," she said. "I think it would be real easy to just wash my hands of cancer and just be done with it. But I can't forget that just because my journey has ended that doesn't mean that someone else hasn't just started theirs."

Evans-Clark was nominated by Cook.

"I nominated Amanda because I think she's doing amazing things despite this awful thing that happened in her life," Cook says. "Every day, even if she doesn't want to get up, she's changing lives, and it's amazing to see."

If you would like more information, visit CocktailsAndChemo.com

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