Gwendolyn Randall, research patient coordinator at Siteman Cancer Center, died Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital of complications from cancer. She was 52.
First diagnosed in 1995, Randall dealt with seven bouts of breast cancer and lost one sister to the disease, which another sister also battled.
After working for AT&T for many years, Randall joined Siteman Cancer Center in September 2001 to work with breast cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials. She said she felt it was a good opportunity to share her experience with other women so they did not have to suffer as she did.
Brian Springer, executive director of research and business administration at Siteman Cancer Center, said Randall not only was an advocate for breast cancer, but she promoted overall wellness and health, including tobacco cessation.
She served on the School of Medicine’s employee advisory group for the implementation of the tobacco-free policy.
“Gwen was a huge advocate for Siteman Cancer Center, and she was so helpful for people diagnosed with breast cancer and for survivors,” Springer said. “She represented survivorship to a lot of people, and her relationship with the community was tremendous.
“Everywhere you go, people know Gwen,” he said. “Her passing emphasizes the importance of the work we do here.”
A valiant supporter of the Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure, she was the first recipient of the Kellogg’s You Make a Difference Award at the area’s first race. Later, the award was named after Randall.
“Gwen embodied the spirit of a survivor and the courage that one person could make a difference,” said Martha Martin, past president of the Komen affiliate who helped name the award after Randall.
“She was an incredibly strong person,” she said.
Always willing to share her experiences when asked, in the last several years Randall had become an associate minister at Rhema Church in St. Louis.
She is survived by her 24-year-old son, Geoffrey Ross Randall of University City, Mo.; her mother, Bennie G. Randall of University City; and two sisters: Brenda Brown of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Pamela Randall of Chicago. Funeral services were private.
Memorial contributions may be made to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, 5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250, Dallas, TX 75244.