Gynecological Cancers Empowerment Lead
Linda Ryan is a seven-time cancer survivor, mother of two, founding member of ME STRONG, a 501c3 charity, and founder of Yo cancer. Linda serves as a patient advocate for the Gyn cancer Steering Committee for the National Cancer Institute and serves on the Patient Education Committee for the Foundation for Women’s cancer. Linda has become a valuable resource for patients, companies, and organizations. Her willingness to share open and candid details of her experience during her multiple recurrences and grueling treatments while refusing to let cancer control her life has inspired and motivated many while facing their life challenges. Linda thrives on travel, exercise, laughter, and most of all, being a mom to her two boys, Matthew and Ethan.
Where can you find Linda?
What type of cancer and stage?
A: Cervical cancer – original diagnosis 2004, 7 recurrences, currently on immunotherapy maintenance treatment.
What was your treatment path?
A: 2004 – hysterectomy
2011 – recurrence – clinical trial/ Cisplatin & Pemetrexed
2016 – recurrence – 25 days radiation/3 rounds Cisplatin
2018 – recurrence – TILs clinical trial – twice
2019 – recurrence – Tivdak/Keytruda clinical trial
2019 – recurrence – Avastin
2021/2022 – recurrence – surgery/ileostomy/10 rounds Taxol/Topotecan/30 days radiation
2022/2023 – ongoing – Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) maintenance
As a PEN Empowerment Lead, what are your interests and how are you helping other patients?
A: Clinical trials have kept me alive and I don’t think all cancer patients know to/how ask or find options for themselves. I think it’s important for patients to know to explore. In addition, there are few recurrent cervical cancer survivors so I’m happy to connect with patients so they know there is hope.
How has cancer affected your life?
A: Cancer has affected my life in so many ways. My friends and I started a charity in 2011 and have given $2 million dollars to others in the community and have funded research. My journey has been very public in my community and so much good has come from my diagnosis.