Jill Hamer-Wilson, who was a tireless advocate for lung cancer patients and a prominent patient partner in cancer research, passed away in November 2022. She served on OICR’s Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) and also worked with the Canadian Cancer Trials Group, the International Lung Cancer Foundation, Canadian Cancer Clinical Trials Network, the Canadian Cancer Society and the White Ribbon Project.
“Jill’s contributions to cancer research were amazing and we are so proud to have had her as part of the OICR family,” says Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi, President and Scientific Director, OICR. “She helped demonstrate the immensely positive impact that patient partners can bring to cancer research. She will be missed greatly here at OICR and in the broader cancer research community. We send our deepest condolences to Jill’s family and friends.”
Jill was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2013 and eventually participated in a clinical trial, which introduced her to the world of cancer research and was the springboard to becoming involved in patient partnership. Since that time Jill touched many lives and used her tenacity and intelligence to create a lasting impact both on researchers and patients.
Despite her health faltering recently, she remained committed to her work, driven by a belief that “research matters” and that patients must help shape it for the better. Jill will be remembered for her thoughtfulness and compassion, her unrelenting advocacy, her supportive voice and enthusiasm, and her effusive smile.
Upon news of Jill’s passing, many tributes were shared, some of which can be read below. You can also learn about Jill’s journey through her blog Through the Valley.
“As an OICR PFAC colleague of Jill’s, I was saddened to hear of her sudden passing. Despite a long and challenging struggle with a devastating lung cancer diagnosis, she continued to persevere and make significant contributions as a cancer patient advocate. Jill was a bright, brave, driven, and supportive individual whose work will continue to inspire hope in those suffering from devastating cancers. All delivered with an ever-present warm smile. She will be sorely missed!” – Terry Hawrysh, Member, OICR PFAC
“Jill had a quiet presence while simultaneously making a massive impact. Her demeanor was always kind, enthusiastic, and encouraging. I very much admire all of the work she did. She contributed so much to the research community and I know that her legacy will live on for a very long time.” – Emily McIntosh, Member, OICR PFAC
“Jill will always be an inspiration. She made a clear choice to spend her precious time helping others, through supporting research and advocating for patients, even while enduring difficult times herself. It was an honour to work with her, although a too brief one.” – Justin Noble, Lead, Patient Partnership and New Initiatives, OICR
Jill, you were the perfect mix of gentle and fierce – knowing when to be patient and when to stand up and say what needed to be said. I adored working with you and getting to know you. You will be missed, you will be remembered.— Antonia Palmer (@antoniacpalmer) November 15, 2022