I was sorry to learn that Susan Davis died yesterday. I believe she was 58.
“Susan was a strong, vocal person who confronted issues head on,” says Shirley Mertz, a fellow MBC Network volunteer. “She played a key role in getting Rep. Rosa De Lauro (CT) to introduce a resolution in the House to declare October 13 as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day.”
In 2008, Susan helped direct a delegation of MBC members to Washington D.C. to lobby on behalf of MBC Awareness Day and other issues important to metastatic breast cancer patients (removal of use of pre-existing conditions to get insurance and removal of lifetime caps for medical care).
“Susan also played an important role in editing speeches that were given at previous MBCN conferences so that listeners were pulled into the patient’s story,” recalls Shirley.
For the past year, Susan served as METAvivor’s Director of Advocacy. “Despite severe health challenges, she retained her spirit and drive and was a constant source of ideas, action and inspiration,” says Dian M. Corneliussen-James, president, METAvivor Research and Support Inc. “She is greatly missed.”
“I live in a constant state of hopeful dread. I am hopeful I will be stable. I dread that my next test will show I am not. My son is now 20 and in college, and he says he cannot remember a time in his life when I didn’t have breast cancer. He has learned to live with uncertainty too. All of our families learn to. As do our friends.”
–Susan Davis, “Learning to Live with Uncertainty,”
According to her METAvivor bio:
Susan Davis was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer to the lung in 1999 and to the liver in 2008.
She got involved in breast cancer advocacy in November 1999. Working with the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, she spearheaded passage of the proclamation to make October 13 National Metastatic Awareness Day.
It passed both houses in Congress the first time out and helped gain recognition for metastatic breast cancer.
Susan served as Field Coordinator for Connecticut for the National Breast Cancer Coalition for six years, in addition to being the President of the Connecticut Breast Cancer Coalition. As President of the CBCC, she passed the “wig bill” which mandates insurance companies pay up to $350 for a wig each year a patient is in treatment.
NBCC launched the Working for a Cure breast cancer license plate, with revenues going to fund state research projects on breast cancer. Susan also started the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund that provided Connecticut women with breast cancer funding to meet needs for housing, heat, transportation, food and other expenses.
She served on the Breast Cancer Research and Education Committee, which distributes funds raised from the state income tax check-off box; she also served on the Treatment Committee of the Connecticut Cancer Control project; and was a member of the Breast Health Advisory Committee, which published the Breast Cancer Resource Guide for Connecticut.
A writer/publisher for more than 20 years, her work has appeared in The Breast Cancer Book of Strength and Courage, “Ms.” magazine, “Family Circle,” and “Barron’s” among other national magazines and books.
Thank you, Susan.