Remembering Arlene Murphy

The Colorectal Cancer Coalition is deeply saddened by the loss of Arlene Murphy who passed away January 29, 2011. Arlene was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer in September 2004, and over the years underwent several surgeries and numerous different chemotherapies. In July 2009, she retired from her job of 25 years as a secretary for a local school district in Southwest Ohio.

A member of our Grassroots Action Committee since 2009, Arlene was an inspiration to everyone she met. She brought a spunkiness and passion to her advocacy work that truly made a difference. She leaves behind a legacy of passion, commitment and energy on behalf of all touched by colorectal cancer.

This past March, Arlene and Ed once again met with Representative Jean Schmidt during the Colorectal Cancer Coalition’s annual Call-on Congress. Over the years, Representative Schmidt got to know Arlene and Ed well during their trips to DC and because of the Murphy’s advocacy efforts Representative Schmidt is a true champion in the fight against colorectal cancer.

Arlene will be greatly missed by all of us here at the Colorectal Cancer Coalition, but her passion, determination and fight will be carried on by all the hearts she touched.

“I will always remember Arlene for her grace and sass. She was a lovely person with a beautiful and determined soul. Her passing leaves a huge hole in my heart. I will miss her fighting spirit.” – Carlea Bauman, President, Colorectal Cancer Coalition

“The thing I remember the most about Arlene was her calm resolve and calm determination. At Call-on Congress last year, she mentioned that she was not sure about her future but as long as she was able she was going to put up a good fight, not only for herself, but for those who were to come after her. That was inspiring!” – Doug Sharp, Colorectal Cancer Coalition Grassroots Action Committee Member

“Arlene’s smile lit up the room. I will always remember her for her compassion and dedication for our cause.” – Carol Larson, Colorectal Cancer Coalition Grassroots Action Committee Member

“I will never forget the first time that I met Ed and Arlene in person. We were in the hallway of the hotel for Call-on Congress…..Arlene’s smile lit the room! It was the most wonderful moment to finally hug the person who had encouraged, inspired, and shared on the ACOR list. Graceful, eloquent, and so very dear. I will miss her and send my love and prayers to Ed and hope that he can find comfort in their beautiful memories together in the days to come.” – Suzanne Lindley, Colorectal Cancer Coalition Grassroots Action Committee Member

“A sadness was placed in many hearts across the country on the early morning of January 29, 2011 when the colorectal cancer world lost a powerful, passionate, and determined advocate, my friend and fellow advocate Arlene Murphy. I first met Arlene at Call-on Congress 2009 and immediately the twinkle in her eyes lit the room up whether she was standing near her husband Ed or sharing her story as a Stage IV colorectal cancer survivor with other advocates. I don’t know whose passion for advocacy or life was greater, Ed’s or Arlene’s, but I know they were there to make a difference.

One of my favorite quotes I found on a card from Memorial Sloan-kettering Cancer Center sums up Arlene’s hope to make a difference with colorectal cancer.. “HOPE – Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can think, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything.”

As the advocates come to the Hill on March 9, 2011 for Call-on Congress a sadness will be with us but Arlene’s spirit, Arlene’s HOPE and Arlene’s spunkiness will be in all our hearts that she touched as we walk the Halls of Congress and share our individual stories. Her voice will carry on through each of us and my hope will be that she will be smiling down on all the lives she has touched and inspired when we open the doors to our Senators and Representatives with our angel Arlene nudging us on.

Fly High my Friend, Fly High!!”- Pam Seijo, Colorectal Cancer Coalition Grassroots Action Committee Member


  1. Patti Hollenback says

    A beautiful tribute for a beautiful lady! How fitting it is for her to be remembered on Valentine’s Day. When I think of Arlene, I also think of her husband,Ed. These sweethearts were together in all of their advocacy efforts. Devoted to each other and their cause, it is the strength of that deep love and affection that so obviously ignited their passion to end the pain of CRC.
    I love Pam’s quote about hope being a powerful force that makes a better world. To me Arlene and Ed are a shining example of that hope. So, next month when I wear my blue I will think of those two and the rest of you who inspire me with hope, so I can can think, and I can dream of a world without the pain and suffering of colorectal cancer. That would mean everything to me!

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