There are so few individuals who are willing to challenge authority in the world of cancer advocacy. Marlene McCarthy was one of the best at that. Marlene died on July 17, 2018; she was 74.

Marlene was a fighter. Over the years I have seen so many women and men shy away from questioning the approach of a member of Congress and from speaking out when a policy was watered down to the point of being meaningless.

Not Marlene. She had this wonderful way of establishing great relationships with her senators and representatives in Rhode Island, earning their respect and friendship, and at the same time never hesitating to make demands and tell them when they were wrong. They still loved her and took her calls.