Remembering Monica

We learned yesterday about the death of Monica Knoll, who founded CANCER101 in 2002.Monica started the organization to help people dealing with breast cancer, but expanded its offerings to cover 23 types of cancer. As a three-time cancer survivor, Monica knew the importance of empowerment. She applied her marketing skills to developing a planner, distributed free at cancer centers in all 50 states, to help patients take control over their disease from diagnosis through follow-up care. Because cancer death rates are nearly three times higher for people without a college education compared with college graduates, Monica was particularly devoted to providing planners to patients and caregivers in underserved populations. Facebook poster Mel Majoros said of Monica: "We have lost a leader in the cancer community." Another poster, Cynthia Zahm Siegfried, said her death was "a terrible loss" but her life was "a wonderful legacy." As tributes are pouring in from around the country, Monica's family has announced a memorial service will be held in July.I met Monica a few years ago at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. I had always been impressed with the concept of CANCER101 and was so happy to finally meet her. Monica was one of those people who was so full of life that even though she had terminal cancer, you never expected her to succumb to the disease. If only will power was enough.