Mary “Dicey” Jackson Scroggins, beloved friend and inspirational figure passed away on August 1st.
The news of her death comes just a few weeks before her 26th ovarian cancer survivorship anniversary. In January 2021, Dicey was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and later underwent a bone marrow transplant. The recovery prevented her from fully returning to the work she loved, even as she expressed her fervent desire to contribute to projects to empower women toward informed, effective, and meaningful advocacy.
Many called her a friend and a mentor and 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. For the last few decades, Dicey has 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 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.
“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.”
– Mary Dicey Scroggins upon taking the role of IGCS’ first Director of Global Outreach and Engagement
Her activism was driven by a commitment to global health equity, and she was one of the authors behind the IGCS Global Health Equity Statement. Largely in part of Dicey’s involvement, Dr. George Larry Maxwell, the founder of Globeathon to End Women’s Cancers put the trust of the global movement in IGCS’s growing advocacy network, what is now the International Gynecologic Cancer Advocacy Network (IGCAN). She believed that together, we CAN achieve great things.
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.”
These are only some of her accomplishments and roles – she was forever accepting new challenges and considered herself a life-long learner, always looking to discover something new in herself and ways to affect meaningful change.
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. In honor of her legacy, IGCS will rename the award the Dicey Scroggins Distinguished Advocate Award and commemorate the occasion at the upcoming IGCS Annual Global Meeting.
During the 2022 Gynecologic Cancer Survivor Caregiver Summit: Care Beyond the Cure which will be held at the Javits Center in New York on September 28, 2022, we will pay tribute to Dicey, reinforcing her commitment to making dedicated patient programming a key part of the Annual Global Meeting.
Share your Memories of Dicey
We invite you to share your memories, stories, and photos of Dicey and the impression she made in your life. There are a few options to share.
Post publicly on social media
You can post publicly on the social media platform of your choice: Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram. Anyone will be able to search for these memories if you use the hashtags #DiceyScroggins and/or #RememberingDicey in your posts.
Post in our private Facebook group
You could request to join the IGCS/IGCAN Global Advocay Network Facebook Group and post in that group if you prefer a more intimate and private setting to share and comment.
Email us directly
We welcome you to email Mary Eiken, IGCS CEO at email@example.com if you wish to share any comments, photos, and sentiments for upcoming tributes at the IGCS meeting or for us to pass along to her family.