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A Comprehensive Cancer Center Designated by the National Cancer Institute

Patient Advocacy

While the cancer population seen at the UChicago reflects referral from throughout the greater Chicago area, including Northern Indiana, the University itself is on the South Side of Chicago in a predominately (>60%) African-American community. This has provided opportunities for outreach to in the community. Our diverse Administrative Core of Advocates represent the diverse communities of Chicago based on socioeconomic status, education attainment and race/ethnicity. Advocates play an important role in our SPORE as detailed below. The members and the expertise they bring to the SPORE are as follows:




Shirley Mertz (Chair)

A Project LEAD graduate, she is President of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network

Ilana Cohen

A young breast cancer survivor, Ilana Cohen has been an advocate for the SPORE in Breast Cancer since its inception

Alicia Cook

An African American and two time breast cancer survivor, who was diagnosed at the age of 34 with stage II triple negative breast cancer

Beverly Parker

A three-time, 28-year breast cancer survivor and peer counselor for Reach to Recovery, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, and After Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Amalia Rigoni

A Hispanic 12 year breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed at 42 and former Contact Center Supervisor and trainer for the Y-ME National Breast Cancer organization 24/7, national hotline

Carole Segal

A major philanthropist of the UCCCC and a member of the MacLean Center on Clinical Ethics

Kay Wissmann

She has been a consumer reviewer for both the DOD Breast Cancer Research Program and the American Cancer Society