August 18 2022
Mary “Dicey” Jackson Scroggins, a long-time patient advocate and mentor, passed away on August 1, 2022.It is an honor for NRG Oncology (NRG) and The GOG Foundation, Inc. (GOG) to recognize the incredible contributions and impact our dear friend and colleague, Dicey, made on the patient advocacy world in the field of gynecologic oncology and our lives.
As you may know, Dicey was a 25-year ovarian cancer survivor and health activist who made a significant impact supporting diversity, equality and inclusion in the development of our clinical trials aimed at transforming the standard of care in gynecologic oncology. Mary served on the Board of Directors for NRG Oncology from 2014 – 2019. She was the Chair of The GOG Foundation, Inc. (Gynecologic Oncology Group legacy) Patient Advocate Committee from 2006-2014 when she then transitioned to serve as Chair of the NRG Oncology Patient Advocate Committee from 2014-2019. For many years Dicey attended The GOG Foundation Board of Directors as an ex officio member representing the patient voice and guiding the GOG to better serve patients.
To honor Dicey’s legacy, GOG created the Mary “Dicey” Scroggins Travel Fund. This fund is intended to allow future patient advocates to engage in the same impactful way Dicey had throughout her career as a volunteer leader. The opportunity will continue to live on to allow patient advocates to attend the NRG Oncology Semiannual Meetings and the GOG Foundation, Inc. meetings to continue Dicey's incredible patient advocate work.
“I always enjoyed talking with Dicey and listening to her insights about the patient perspective.Dicey was a giving individual who was ubiquitously admired.She will be dearly missed,” said Larry Copeland, President of GOG Foundation.
Dicey was well known and admired for the creation of the “Best Day of My Life” video which supported a Globe-athon social media campaign, launched in 80 countries to raise awareness of women’s cancers. In 2021, Globe-athon merged with the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) and is now known as the International Gynecologic Cancer Advocacy Network (IGCAN). Dicey was the Director of Global Outreach & Engagement at IGCS since 2019, serving underrepresented minorities.
“Mary Scroggins was an invaluable resource to our clinical trial research and patient advocate community. She will continue to be an inspiration to the future of our cancer research network,” stated Dr. Robert Mannel, NRG Oncology Group Chair.
Dicey was a respected leader among the NRG Oncology community. "For the past 14 years, as a gynecologic oncology patient advocate, I valued Mary’s guidance which was thoughtful and extremely helpful. We served together on several committees for oncology-based organizations where she was a tireless advocate for women with ovarian cancer. Most importantly, as the Chair of the NRG Oncology Patient Advocate Committee, she took a sincere interest in the other advocates as only a devoted friend can. She will be sorely missed but I will carry a little bit of “Dicey” with me as I continue my advocacy journey," said Debbie Miller, NRG Oncology patient advocate and Founder of Ovarian Cancer Trial Awareness Network & Empowerment.
As stated by Dorothy Erlanger, NRG’s current Patient Advocate Committee Chair, “Mary blazed a remarkable path as a leader across the patient advocate community. As long-time Chair of the Patient Advocate Committee, she mentored newer advocates and was an effective voice for the Advocates with NRG Leadership. Whether in a one-on-one conversation, in a committee or with leadership, she always had in sight the goal of enhanced patient advocate effectiveness. And always with persuasiveness, patience - and persistence.
Yet when I think about Mary, my thoughts go instantly to her warm, thoughtful voice and always wise counsel. She also had a gentle and wonderful sense of humor, even at dark moments. Shortly after Mary received the shock of the AML diagnosis, we shared laughter as she described to me how her husband was being treated like such a ‘king’ in her daughter’s home that she would have work to do to get back to reality when she got home.
As current Chair of the Patient Advocate Committee, my goal is to honor Mary’s legacy by continuing to build from where she left off. Mary was my colleague, my mentor, and a dear friend. She will be sorely missed.”
Aside from Dicey’s amazing involvement within the GOG and NRG organizations, she was a strong voice for patients and a friend and colleague to our community. The GOG and NRG are forever grateful for the incredible impact Dicey made through her service, engagement, cancer survivor perspective, and as the Chair of the NRG Oncology and Legacy GOG Patient Advocacy Committees.