The Cancer Mavericks EP2: The Alumni Association

Out of Patients with Matthew Zachary

The Cancer Mavericks EP2: The Alumni Association

July 6, 2021

The Cancer Mavericks EP2: The Alumni Association

By the 1980s, cancer was no longer a death sentence. But the question of what surviving actually meant was unanswered. Cancer survivors had to navigate issues around employment, relationships, and the emotional and physical side effects of treatment in a world that largely didn’t know what to do with them. (and they were still called “victims.”) In 1985, a young doctor named Fitzhugh Mullan wrote an essay called “Seasons of Survival” about his own experience with cancer. His piece helped popularize the term “cancer survivor” and resonated with a growing number of survivors, who were starting to form support groups around the country. Among them was Catherine Logan Carrillo, the founder of People Living Through Cancer in New Mexico, who asked Fitzhugh to help her convene an “alumni association” for cancer survivors. And they did, during one monumental weekend in Albuquerque. For more information about this series, visit

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