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A Tribute to Ellen Stovall, Champion of Cancer Survivors

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***This post was written by the Kimmel Cancer Center's Chief Administrative Officer, Terry Langbaum, in memory of Ellen Stovall, late president of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, who died Jan. 5.  

The first time I met Ellen Stovall, we immediately felt that we had known each other for years. We had so much in common -- our mutually shared medical histories, yes, but much more importantly, our mutual determination to make life better for cancer patients and cancer survivors. Ellen used all of her resources to make a difference in the lives of cancer survivors, and did she ever have resources. She was intelligent, determined, articulate, endlessly energetic, genuine, and intuitive. She was comfortable with medical professionals of the highest order, political leaders at the national level, cancer advocacy professionals, patients and caregivers. In the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, she was able to create and build an advocacy organization that filled a gap by recognizing and giving voice to so many individuals experiencing the late effects of cancer treatment, including chronic pain, chronic anxiety, some pretty awful co-morbidities caused by cancer treatment, and the very real risks for secondary cancers in those who have had cancer treatment. Until her last day, Ellen continued to do what she passionately loved. I hope I am that fortunate. Today, cancer researchers work tirelessly to find treatment protocols that cure the cancer, but that reduce the late health risks associated with cancer treatment. In no small part, this is a result of Ellen Stovall's life's work. We can all honor her memory by continuing her legacy.

Terry S. Langbaum
Chief Administrative Officer
Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins