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.

Cervivor Takes Manhattan!

As we wrapped up the last weekend of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM), we headed to New York for a monumental event that started off this year’s Cervical Cancer Summit powered by Cervivor.

Founder Tamika Felder, along with members from the Cervivor community, were invited to ring the closing bell on Nasdaq. Tamika’s call to action to the world, “Join us in this mission because no one should die from cervical cancer.” And the world is listening!

We kicked off the 2023 Cervical Cancer Summit in partnership with Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute, it was truly an inspired and innovated conversation with Eve McDavid, a cervical cancer survivor and Fem Tech entrepreneur, along with the brilliant Dr. Onyinye Balogun and Fernando Gomez-Baquero. By using the patient voice, they are developing a revolutionary new device that will transform Brachytherapy, which still uses the same barbaric process that was developed in the 1970’s, with no regard for the actual female anatomy. We are excited to see more innovations like this happening in treatment altogether!

We continued with the patient voice perspective with members of the Cervivor community speaking on the Power in Patient Voices with Arlene Simpson, Yvette Torres, Kadiana Vegee and Kate Weissman. They shared how the collective Cervivor voice can bring more visibility and influence change, working towards our common goal of ending cervical cancer.

Dr. Rebecca Perkins joined us for Expert Hour on all things cervical cancer and HPV. You can tell that Dr. Perkins is very passionate about educating others to understand the importance of HPV vaccination and cancer prevention. “HPV vaccination is cancer prevention!”

The day continued with a session on Emotional Resilience: Survivorship & Support. Community members Anna Ogo, Tina Vetreno and Tiera Wade joined presenter Danielle Modlo, who is a Certified Nurse Practitioner at Cleveland Clinic, really brought to the surface what cervical cancer patients and survivors face from a mental health and wellness perspective during and after treatment.

Joslyn Paguio, Cervivor Podcast host, lead a conversation on Sexual Health with Dr. Rosemary Basson on how we navigate our ‘new groove’ through our physical and emotional changes that cancer brings to our sexual desires.

Our last panel discussion was on Navigating a Cervical Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Options – What’s Best for Ourselves with Ayanna Bass, Karla Chavez, Carol Lacey, Jenn Myers, Karen North, Selena Ruston and Kimberly Williams. We discussed how we make sense of everything we go through from diagnosis and beyond, and choosing the best treatment plan for you which may include clinical trials, more surgeries, or second opinions.

Just as the day began, we ended with an exhilarating bang as Dr. Cindy Trice shared her personal cervical cancer journey and how years later that journey helped create and fuel KickIt Pajamas. She truly turned her pain into purpose and we just love her company’s mantra, “Friends don’t let friends have hospital butt.” Her inspirational talk left us laughing and crying.

Last but not least, we celebrated five new Cervivor Champion Award recipients for going above and beyond with the mission of Cervivor being their driving force. Join us in congratulating these outstanding individuals as our 2023 Cervivor Champions!