Interview with Vicki Orr and Dr. James Orr during the 2013 SGO Annual Meeting
Wilma Williams Legacy Endowment for Research and Education in Uterine Cancer
The following speech was presented by Vicki Orr with James Orr, Jr., MD, FACOG, FACS, during the 2013 SGO Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer:
Wilma Williams, a Baptist minister’s wife and mother of three, was diagnosed with Stage III uterine cancer at age 48.Her treatment involved surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Although she was initially rendered disease free, she eventually lost her battle to cancer after 14 long years. My mother’s care, directed by a gynecologic oncologist, involved many others. She and our family experienced all of the “ups and downs” of treatment, survivorship and recurrent disease. All who knew my mom recognized her kind, giving spirit. She always placed others first! Jimmy and I wish to do the same.
I, for obvious reasons, and Jimmy, as a long-standing SGO member, Past President and practicing gynecologic oncologist for 32 years, are both passionate about all aspects of this disease. We confidently believe that it’s a new day for SGO and for the women you serve! This subspecialty society has a golden opportunity with the development of the new Outcomes Research Institute.
We believe that this visionary initiative will position the Society to take control of its future by “defining” the quality measures for gynecologic cancer care before these measures are imposed by others less familiar with this disease. Women will unequivocally benefit. This Society can and will be empowered with greater influence through evidence-based data that highlights the exceptional care delivered by SGO members and why and how this subspecialty care improves a patient’s quality of life through diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and end of life care when necessary.
To that point, Jimmy and I are inspired by the direction the Society is taking with its strategic priorities. We know that our lives have been very blessed and we wish to make a meaningful gift to the Foundation for Gynecologic Oncology. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that we are committing $100,000 today and will pledge another $150,000 in a challenge-matching of “new” dollar commitments to inspire other SGO members to join us by investing in SGOs Vision: “To eradicate gynecologic cancers.”
Our total commitment of $250,000 will fund a named research and education award for endometrial cancer in honor of my mother, Wilma Williams. Our intent in making this commitment is to honor my mother as well as the tireless work and dedication of all gynecologic oncologists and to ensure that we are able to pass on and preserve the specialized medical skills and tools to those physicians who will carry the torch after you are gone. Something we all should consider.
Lastly, Jimmy and I are very proud to share this exciting news and hope that we truly inspire others to invest in the Foundation through helping to launch the new Legacy Society Donor Program at this 2013 Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer. As a Founding Member of this prestigious donor society, we are anxious to witness this program grow and watch SGO prosper in its mission “To promote the highest quality of comprehensive clinical care through education and research in the prevention and treatment of gynecologic cancers.”
Ronald Reagan in his Farewell Address to the Nation said, “once you begin a great movement, there is no telling where it will end.” We thank you for helping “begin this Great Movement!”
Vicki & Jimmy Orr