Susan G. Komen will honor the winners of its annual HOPE, FAITH and LOVE awards on October 7, including breast cancer health-care provider Karen Gutierrez of Williamsville, winner of the HOPE Award.

Gutierrez will accept the Hope Award at Komen’s 16th Annual Survivor Luncheon at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. The annual Survivor Luncheon is a celebration of those who have struggled, or are struggling, to overcome breast cancer.

The Hope Award is given annually to a breast care professional who works toward improving the lives of breast cancer survivors. Gutierrez, a certified nurse practitioner and advanced genetics nurse, works at General Physicians Breast Care. Working in breast surgical oncology, she manages post-operative follow-up care and high-risk monitoring. She has been providing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer genetic testing since 2013 and in 2016 became only the 4th Nurse Practitioner in Upstate New York to become a Board Certified Advanced Genetics Nurse. She also teaches Spanish to health-care providers.

Gutierrez, herself, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 at the age of 46. She had a mastectomy with reconstruction, chemotherapy, and is just completing 7 years of hormone therapy.

“Working with Susan G. Komen has given me a way to give to others -- to be that bright light like others were for me,” says Gutierrez. “As my patients will attest, I don't shake hands with my breast cancer families, I hug them all." - Karen Gutierrez

Other awards at the Luncheon include the FAITH award, which is given annually to a breast cancer survivor who advocates in the community for support, screening or treatment and works to empower all women. The 2017 FAITH Award will go to Beth Stefani of Hamburg, a longtime supporter and volunteer with Komen. The LOVE Award goes to a volunteer who works tirelessly to advance the Komen mission and inspires others to do the same. This year, the winner of the LOVE Award is Denise Filosofos of Grand Island.