1950 - 2022
Dicey was diagnosed with stage IA clear cell ovarian cancer in 1996, when she was 46 years old. She spent the next 26 years of her life telling “anyone who would listen” that she was an ovarian cancer survivor. In doing so, her goal was to give a face to the disease, especially for African-American women and other women of color who are not as aware of their risk for ovarian cancer, nor the fact that they are more likely to die from the disease.
Dicey became a patient advocate from the moment of her diagnosis. First, she learned about her disease, advocating for her own health and care. Her family was extremely supportive and ever-present throughout her journey. Realizing that early detection is key to survival, she felt called to spread this information to others. With her background in writing and storytelling, she would take inspiration from her experience as a cancer patient and survivor to enter the patient advocacy space and become an activist for others like her.
She inspired, befriended, and mentored many individuals who were captivated by her talent and passion to build alliances and shine a light on challenging yet important issues. Those who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing her surely felt her influence throughout the advocacy community - whether they were aware of it or not. In her 26 years as a patient advocate and survivor, Dicey worked to bridge the space between clinical research and the patient experience demonstrating the importance of patient engagement for the advancement of care.
Dicey’s Legacy Lives On In Our Work
Dicey’s vision was limitless, and she set her sights on global outreach and health equity - in early 2019 she took on the role to lead IGCS’ patient advocacy and community outreach efforts as the society’s first Director of Global Outreach and Engagement. In just three short years, she completely transformed IGCS’s advocacy programs and relationships through educational programming, network and relationship building, recognition, and communication.
International Gynecologic Cancer Advocacy Network
She founded the International Gynecologic Cancer Advocacy Network (IGCAN), the patient advocacy arm of the International Gynecologic Cancer Society. Our mission is to create and sustain a broad Network of organizations and individuals that work collaboratively—in sisterhood—“to enhance the care of women with gynecologic cancers worldwide,” with the core value that every woman under every circumstance deserves and must receive the best possible quality of care and quality of life, resulting in best outcomes.
Dicey Scroggins Distinguished Advocate Award
Dicey instituted the IGCS Distinguished Advocacy Award in 2019 which recognizes advocates and/or advocacy organizations that provide active, dedicated service to patients/survivors, families, and caregivers—on a local, regional, or international level—and persistently engage in the fight against gynecologic and other cancers. This award was renamed in her honor after her death on August 1, 2022 as the Dicey Scroggins Distinguished Advocate Award.
Dicey Scroggins Fund for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Gynecologic Cancer Patient Outreach
This fund was established in 2023 to support projects and initiatives that address disparities in gynecologic cancer patient care. By providing financial support to innovative and inclusive projects, the fund aims to contribute to a more equitable and diverse landscape in the field of gynecologic cancer research and outreach.
Dicey is survived by her husband, Edward Scroggins; her three daughters, Nneka Scroggins, Akiba Perry, and Amaal Scroggins; and three grandchildren, Anwar Perry, Sanaa Perry, and Asha Perry.
With her daughter Nneka, Dicey co-founded Pinkie Hugs, LLC - a mother-daughter writing and film production firm specializing in social justice-focused documentaries. She was a co-founder of In My Sister’s Care (an organization focused on improving gynecologic cancer awareness and care for medically underserved women and on eliminating health disparities), and a co-chair of the Advocacy Special Interest Group for the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer. The recipient of the 2016 AACR Distinguished Public Service Award, Dicey was a member of NCI’s “Community Engagement in Genomics” Working Group and the Director of Advocacy and International Engagement for the “Globe-athon to End Women’s Cancers.”
“The health of women forecasts the health, strength, and resilience of communities, and…improving gynecologic cancer care and women’s overall health—thus the health of their communities—[can be achieved] through synergistic global outreach and engagement. It [is my] privilege to work with women, families, and organizations to assist in empowering all toward informed, effective, meaningful advocacy and in forming and sustaining international networks—alliances for gynecologic health and cancer care. The opportunities are boundless.”