Earlier this year, 10 northeastern and north central Pennsylvania residents took the brave step of sharing their stories of surviving breast cancer in an effort to educate others about the disease.

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) collected their experiences for the company's 13th annual Gallery of Hope, a traveling display containing survivor profiles and educational materials designed to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and treatment in the fight against breast cancer.

BCNEPA is now seeking nominations for its 2014 Gallery of Hope.

Any female or male breast cancer survivor residing within BCNEPA's 13-county service area can be nominated. Simply go to www.bcnepa.com/hope before Nov. 1 and click on "Nominate a Survivor" to submit information about a friend or family member for consideration.

The 2014 honorees will be announced in January.

Some of the honorees in the 2013 Gallery of Hope included:

Ÿ a 75-year old retired nurse and grandmother of six from Luzerne County who is a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season ticket holder;

Ÿ a 55-year old NASCAR fan from Monroe County who promotes breast cancer awareness by participating in local Pink Light Walks and the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

"Being a Gallery of Hope honoree is an opportunity to help us educate others," said Cynthia A. Yevich, senior director of corporate affairs for BCNEPA.

"If detected early, the five-year survival rate for localized breast cancer is 97 percent. We encourage survivors to share their stories to help us reinforce how important self-exams, screenings, and early detection are in order to beat this disease."

BCNEPA's 2013 Gallery of Hope is currently available for exhibit throughout northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. Visit www.bcnepa.com/hope to request the Gallery display for an upcoming event in your community.

Individuals can also become supporters of "Gallery of Hope Blue Cross of NEPA" on Facebook and begin receiving regular announcements about BCNEPA's breast cancer education efforts.