SGO Celebrates a Beloved Activist and Advocate, Mary “Dicey” Jackson Scroggins
The Society of Gynecologic Oncology regrets to share the passing of Mary “Dicey” Jackson Scroggins, MA, an active patient advocate. She died August 1, 2022, at the age of 72.
Elise Kohn, MD, remembers Mary:
“Let us celebrate a pioneer whose name became synonymous with ovarian cancer advocacy, cancer advocacy, diversity advocacy, research advocacy, and excellence, all before it was “cool.” Mary Jackson Scroggins, Dicey as some knew her, was the strong quiet leader who pulled patients, advocates, families, researchers, and health care providers forward.
Mary embodied spirit, optimism, drive to make change, and the beliefs that honesty, equity, and community can overcome barriers. Family is and was most important to Mary, her husband, three daughters, and her beloved grandchildren. She did not discriminate by blood connections, bringing many of us into her extended family, and “loving on us” while also working on and with us.
Mary’s ultimate course was highjacked by ovarian cancer and its treatment in the 90s, leading her to focus on getting the word out to everyone about ovarian and later gynecologic cancers, so that all individuals were armed with the knowledge necessary to advocate for their best care. Mary brought these beliefs and knowledge to the betterment of all people, to improve understanding about cancer in diverse populations, and to fight for the research necessary to make progress worldwide in gynecologic cancer care.
Mary walked the walk and talked the talk for what she believed. She started “In My Sister’s Care,” now a national organization, focused on eliminating health disparities. She promoted awareness and knowledge of gynecologic cancers through advocacy, as an early and seminal member of the Ovarian Cancer and Rhonda’s Club, and by sitting at the table at GOG/NRG oncology for clinical trials development and the NCI Director’s Consumer Liaison Group, through her work in the DoD OCRP and other grant programs for advancement of ovarian and gynecologic cancer research, and through her writing, including for AACR’s CR magazine.”
Mary was an inspiring force, both in her work and in her life. And those who have the honor of knowing her have been forever changed. SGO is committed to continuing her legacy by establishing the “Health Equity Awareness and Advocacy in Gynecologic Oncology,” recognizing an individual who is synonymous with advocacy for diversity and health equity in gynecologic cancer. This award was conceived to honor Mary’s spirit, optimism, drive to make change, and the belief that honesty, equity and community can overcome barriers. She brought her beliefs and knowledge to the betterment of all people, to improve understanding about cancer in diverse populations, and to fight for the research necessary to make progress worldwide in gynecologic cancer care.