Honoring the Legacy of Professor Lynette Denny

It is with profound sadness and a deep sense of loss that we, the community of Cervivor, Inc., join in mourning the passing of Professor Lynette Denny.

A devoted individual in the mission to end cervical cancer, Professor Denny’s contributions to women’s health, particularly in low-resource settings, have left a lasting mark on the world.

As the Chair and Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and a registered sub-specialist in gynecological oncology at Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town, Professor Denny dedicated her life to improving the quality of life for women globally. Her passion for preventing cervical cancer was evident in her extensive research over the past 15 years, culminating in over 100 peer-reviewed papers. Her insights and findings have guided countless healthcare professionals and researchers in their quest to eradicate this preventable disease.

Professor Denny was a wealth of knowledge and inspiration, gracing numerous international conferences as a keynote speaker. Her expertise and commitment were recognized by many prestigious awards, including the “Distinguished Scientist for Improving the Quality of Life of Women” by the South African Department of Science and Technology in 2006, the Shoprite Checkers SABC 2 “Women of the Year” award for Science and Technology in 2004, and the South African Medical Association award for “Extraordinary Service to Medicine” in 2012. Her accolades also include a Fellowship ad eudeum by the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the United Kingdom and the British Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology Founders’ Medal in 2014.

In March 2015, Professor Denny’s outstanding work was further recognized with the SA Medical Research Council award for a Cancer Research Centre project, reflecting her leadership in the SAMRC/UCT Gynaecological Cancer Research Centre. Her efforts were also acknowledged by the CANSA AG Oettle Memorial Award and the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Award in 2015, as well as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Medal of Honour Award in 2016.

As the immediate Past President of IGCS and immediate Past Chair of the FIGO Gynaecologic Cancer Committee, Professor Denny’s influence extended far and wide. Her collaborative spirit and ability to secure substantial funding for innovative research have paved the way for future breakthroughs in cancer prevention and treatment.

Professor Denny’s legacy is not only etched in her scientific achievements but also in the countless lives she touched and improved through her work. Her dedication, compassion, and tireless efforts have created a brighter future for women worldwide, particularly those in disadvantaged communities.

In remembering Professor Lynette Denny, we honor a true pioneer, a dedicated researcher, and a compassionate advocate for women’s health. Her legacy will continue to inspire and guide us in our mission to prevent cervical cancer and support those affected by it. We extend our deepest condolences to her family, friends, colleagues, and all who were fortunate to know and work with her.

Rest in peace, Professor Denny. Your light will continue to shine brightly in our hearts and in the ongoing mission to end cervical cancer.

Team Cervivor Attends ASCO 2024

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting is a premier event in the oncology community, gathering thousands of professionals from around the globe to discuss groundbreaking research, innovative treatments, and the future of cancer care. This year, Team Cervivor attended ASCO 2024, marking a significant milestone for our organization and highlighting the critical role of patient advocates in the fight against cancer.

What is ASCO?
ASCO, founded in 1964, is a leading professional organization for physicians and oncology professionals. Its mission is to conquer cancer through research, education, and the promotion of the highest quality patient care. The annual ASCO meeting is the largest of its kind, offering a platform for the latest scientific advancements, policy discussions, and networking opportunities. Attendees include oncologists, researchers, pharmaceutical representatives, and patient advocates, all united in their dedication to improving cancer care.

Our presence at ASCO 2024 was a testament to the growing recognition of the importance of patient voices in shaping cancer care and research. Here’s why our participation matters:

  1. Amplifying Patient Voices: As patient advocates, we bring the perspectives and experiences of those directly affected by cervical cancer. Our stories and insights are invaluable in guiding research priorities and improving patient care practices.
  2. Cultivating Collaboration: Attending ASCO allows us to collaborate with researchers, clinicians, and other advocacy groups. These interactions help us stay informed about the latest advancements and ensure that patient needs are at the forefront of scientific discussions.
  3. Promoting Awareness and Education: By engaging with the oncology community, we can spread awareness about cervical cancer, highlight the importance of prevention and early detection, and share our educational resources. Our presence at ASCO reinforces the message that cervical cancer is preventable and treatable when caught early.
  1. Influencing Policy and Research: Our participation at ASCO provides opportunities to advocate for policies that benefit cervical cancer patients and survivors. We can also contribute to shaping research agendas by emphasizing areas that require more attention, such as disparities in cancer care and the psychosocial impacts of the disease.

Team Cervivor Listed from Left to Right: Morgan Newman, MSW, Community Engagement Liaison; Tamika Felder, Founder & Chief Visionary; and Kimberly Williams, MHCM, Chief Diversity Equity & Inclusion Officer

Highlights from ASCO 2024
ASCO 2024 was a whirlwind of inspiring sessions, groundbreaking research presentations, and meaningful interactions. Here are some highlights from our experience:

Networking Opportunities: We connected with oncologists, researchers, and fellow advocates, nurturing relationships that will strengthen our advocacy efforts. These connections are crucial for creating a supportive network dedicated to cervical cancer eradication.

Media and Outreach: We participated in interviews, highlighting the importance of patient advocacy and the work we do. These media opportunities allowed us to reach a broader audience and amplify our message.

We also had the honor of having our Founder and Chief Visionary, Tamika Felder, speak on a crucial panel titled, “Bridging the Gap in Cancer Care for Adolescents and Young Adults” hosted by The Atlantic. This enlightening session shed light on the challenges faced by the nearly 1.5 million adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer each year. Addressing issues such as work, health insurance, school, fertility, and emotional distress, the panel explored the unique cancer biology of this age group and the lack of survival improvements compared to other age demographics. Tamika, alongside other survivors, oncologists, and advocates, shared her journey and insights, emphasizing the importance of tailored care and pioneering local programs that support the distinct needs of young cancer patients. Her participation underscored Team Cervivor’s commitment to advocating for comprehensive and compassionate cancer care for all age groups.

Attending ASCO 2024 was more than just an opportunity to learn and network; it was a chance to reaffirm our commitment to the mission to end cervical cancer. We left the conference inspired and energized, ready to continue our mission with renewed vigor. Our presence at ASCO underscores the vital role of patient advocates in the oncology community, and we are proud to be a voice for cervical cancer patients and survivors worldwide.

As we move forward, we will leverage the knowledge and connections gained at ASCO to enhance our educational programs, support initiatives, and advocacy efforts. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cervical cancer and work towards a future free of this preventable disease. Stay tuned for more updates from Team Cervivor and join us in our journey to eradicate cervical cancer. Together, we are stronger, and together, we can achieve a world without cervical cancer.