July 06, 2020
It is with great sadness we share the news that Michele Longabaugh, a founding member of The University of Kansas Cancer Center’s patient research advocacy group known as PIVOT, passed away in June.
Michele is incredibly missed by all who had the joy of spending time with her. She is remembered for her ‘cheeky’ sense of humor, drive to fight cancer through research and giving spirit. Her efforts with PIVOT – Patient and Investigator Voices Organizing Together – have had a profound impact on the group and on the creation of patient-focused research at the cancer center, the National Cancer Institute and beyond. Diagnosed with stage IV anal cancer in 2010, Michele’s willingness to speak openly about her cancer no doubt helped countless people on similar journeys.
Michele served on the PIVOT Leadership Team and co-chaired the PIVOT Educational Task Force where she helped develop training materials for PIVOT patient research advocates. Michele spoke at every PIVOT training workshop from 2018 to 2020, training more than 70 advocates during that time. A mentor to new PIVOT members, many of her PIVOT colleagues noted that Michele was a role model and inspiration.
I’ve always admired Michele and looked up to her as the kind of advocate I want to be. She was all sorts of inspiring." Doug Sparling, PIVOT member
“I’ve always admired Michele and looked up to her as the kind of advocate I want to be. She was all sorts of inspiring. She will be missed by many I am sure,” said Doug Sparling, a fellow PIVOT member.
With gratitude for all she contributed to cancer research, we extend our sympathy to everyone whose life was touched by Michele Longabaugh.