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Maggie Daley’s Legacy in Integrative Cancer Care

Maggie Daley (center front) with Mayor Richard M. Daley, Ann Lurie, a Northwestern trustee and philanthropist, and Steve Rosen, M.D., director of the Lurie Cancer Center and of Cancer Programs at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Photo by Nathan Mandell

The recent passing of Maggie Daley, wife of former Chicago Mayor, Richard M. Daley, was not only a devastating loss for those that knew her personally, but it was also a loss felt deeply in the cancer community. Maggie Daly was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in 2002 and lived with the incurable disease for 9 years. According to the National Cancer Institute, only 23 percent of all women who develop metastatic breast cancer will survive for more than five years. Mrs. Daley’s long battle with breast cancer is not only a testament to improved treatment options, but also to her healthcare team at Northwestern University and her own body’s ability to stave off the disease.  As a result of her battle with breast cancer, Mrs. Daley became an advocate in the cancer community and a pioneer at Northwestern for treatment programs that focus on the whole person and not just the diagnosis.

In April 2010, the Maggie Daley Center for Women’s Cancer Care was opened at Northwestern University in honor of the former First Lady’s cancer activism and fight with breast cancer.  The Cancer Center sees an average of 1,000 patients a year and offers assistance to not only the patient, but to their families and caregivers as well. The Cancer Center is only one of a few of its kind in the Midwest, taking an integrative approach to cancer treatment. You might say the Cancer Center is a “one-stop shop” for breast and ovarian cancer treatment.

In July, we blogged about the Supportive Oncology Suite at Northwestern University which is part of the Maggie Daley Center for Women’s Cancer Care.  The Supportive Oncology unit houses a multitude of resources for patients including a healing boutique, a massage and acupuncture room, a rehab facility and the supportive oncology healthcare staff including Fertility Preservation Patient Navigator, Kristin Smith.  The unit also provides space to advocacy groups such as Gilda’s Club, to hold support sessions on topics such as family planning post cancer, and family/caregiver support needs.

Maggie Daley not only lent her name to the Cancer Center, but she was also an integral member of the Northwestern community lending her support wherever she could to help raise awareness. She was an inspiration to many and her legacy will live on at Northwestern through the Cancer Center and its innovative approach to comprehensive cancer care for women.

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