Joan Lunden, an award-winning journalist, best-selling author and breast cancer survivor, has been named the recipient of the second annual Warrior Award, which will be presented at the 2016 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, April 2 from American Airlines Center in Dallas, live on WWE Network at 8 ET/5 PT.
The Warrior Award is given to someone who has exhibited unwavering strength and perseverance, and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior. The award will be presented to Lunden by The Ultimate Warrior’s widow, Dana Warrior. In June 2014, Lunden was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, which required chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. Lunden made the decision to take her battle public and has since shared her journey through cancer treatment, becoming a prominent voice in the breast cancer community.
“It is truly humbling to be honored by WWE and receive this year’s Warrior Award at the 2016 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony,” Lunden said. “After being diagnosed with cancer, my first thought was to survive, but soon after, I changed my focus from my cancer to the fight against cancer and my life took on a whole new purpose. WWE has welcomed me into their family, offering me warmth and support, as have so many of the WWE fans from around the world. It is a privilege to receive this honor.”
“On behalf of my family, we are proud to present this year’s Warrior Award to Joan Lunden,” said Dana Warrior. “Joan embodies all that this award was meant to capture. She is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the quintessential Warrior woman. It will be an honor to recognize her at this year’s WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.”
“Joan Lunden has been an incredible role model to so many people and it is an honor to recognize her as the second annual Warrior Award recipient,” said Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer. “The will and perseverance she gracefully displayed in her fight against breast cancer is an inspiration to millions of women around the world.”
An eternal optimist, Lunden decided to turn her diagnosis into an opportunity to inspire others in the breast cancer community. Through her website, JoanLunden.com, and her social media channels, Lunden has created an online community dedicated to people living with and surviving from breast cancer. From her consistent journaling throughout her breast cancer treatment, Lunden wrote her most recent book, “Had I Known: A Memoir of Survival,” which documents her battle with cancer and provides a reflective look back at her life and career. Lunden continues to be an advocate for those diagnosed with the disease, making trips to Capitol Hill, and as a special correspondent for “TODAY’s” Pink Power series.
Last year, the Warrior Award was presented for the first time ever to Connor Michalek, a Pittsburgh native and passionate WWE fan who passed away from cancer. In his honor, Connor’s Cure was created as a fund within Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation to support pediatric brain and spinal cord cancer research. To date, Connor’s Cure has raised $1 million and assisted more than 100 families around the world.
The 2016 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony airs live on the eve of WrestleMania, Saturday, April 2, at 8 ET/5 PT, only on WWE Network.