The Marilyn Fagan Ovarian Cancer Patient Advocacy Program

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Friends and Family Share Their Memories

I had the great fortune to know and work with Marilyn for 30+ years. The ability to experience her passion, generosity, and thoughtfulness is one of my life treasures. Her family and friends have a missing block to their life base and one that will be impossible to replace. I can only feel fortunate to have spoken with Marilyn a month before her passing, and I was completely taken by her calm and outreaching to assist me in my time of need, So Marilyn. She is missed and will be forever.

Jim Macari


I have known Tom and Marilyn for over 40 years and consider them to be great friends, wonderful parents and remarkable people. I had the pleasure to drive Marilyn to the church for her wedding and remember her being a truly beautiful bride. Although distance has kept us apart for much of the time, we have stayed in touch and always enjoyed the time we did spend together. Tom and Marilyn are blessed with three spectacular children who bring them great joy. We were fortunate to attend Beth’s wedding in California, and Beth also was a beautiful bride who reminded me so much of her mother. The last few years were incredibly hard, but Marilyn had such poise and courage and Tom, as expected, was loving and dutiful. I was pleased to have an opportunity to say good bye to Marilyn and to see most of the Fagan family at the memorial service in Palm Desert. If life is measured by the people you touch and the happiness you bring, then Marilyn’s life was totally complete. Of course we miss her, but we treasure the memories and are fortunate to have had her in our life.

Bob Segel


Marilyn Fagan was one of our all-time favorite patients. We had the great pleasure of meeting her in person in 2009 when she came to Phoenix for a consultation with a medical center.

Consulting with several top teams around the country about her epithelial ovarian cancer, Marilyn epitomized the proactive, knowledge-seeking patient who wanted to know absolutely everything. She loved the process of becoming conversant in all the details of her case, from the molecular profiling aspects to the functional profiling aspects of her specific ovarian tumor.

Early on, Marilyn became a role model not only for our other ovarian cancer patients but for our ICAN staff, and for me, personally. She was the paragon of true grit and tenacity. Among her last words to me were "Tell my family I decided to go out fighting." Her daughter Elizabeth told me that her mom played golf up to three weeks before she passed.

Marilyn's love for her family was evident in the way she lived and spoke and thought. In her very full and accomplished life, her family was at the core of her being. Her wonderful husband, Tom, along with her treasured children, Elizabeth, Brian, and Tim, and her precious grandchildren, all gave her the strength and the will to continue fighting for her life until the end. We at ICAN hold the family most dear as we appreciated working with them on the complex issues pertinent to Marilyn's case. Everyone was hands-on in the battle to extend this most wonderful woman's very precious life.

At ICAN, Marilyn is already deeply missed. We loved her optimism and her joie de vivre. The beautiful photo of Marilyn in Manhattan, looking as she always did--elegant and ebullient--captures her essence. The casual viewer would never know that the photo was taken two years after she was diagnosed with this most challenging cancer.

Our hearts go out to Marilyn's beloved family and her many dear friends who are heartbroken and devastated by the loss of this very special woman. We share that loss with you. And to Marilyn, you will remain in our hearts always and we will continue to work relentlessly until the scourge of ovarian cancer is eradicated.

Marcia K. Horn
President and CEO, ICAN

To post your own tribute about Marilyn here, please email us at and we will post it within 24 hours. Please include your phone number.

The Marilyn Fagan Ovarian Cancer Patient Advocacy Program
is a vital part of ICAN's Cancer Patient Advocacy and Clinical Trials Program Advocacy Services.

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