Notes & Noticias: In Memory of Andrea Sloan

Dear friends,

This week’s Notes and Noticias brings sad news.

On New Year’s Day, my friend Andrea Sloan passed away after a seven-year battle with ovarian cancer.

I’d written about Andrea before and her fight to gain compassionate use of an experimental cancer drug. Her crusade inspired people around the state and country and across the political spectrum to advocate for making compassionate use policies more broadly available for those who have exhausted all other treatment options.

A coalition of friends and strangers alike, dubbed “Andi’s Army,” took to social media, wrote letters, and made phone calls urging a drug company to give her access to the treatment she sought, and publicizing stories of other people fighting a similar battle against cancer.

Her brave and public struggle was an inspiration, and in keeping with her life-long work to help others.

Andi previously worked as the executive director of Texas Advocacy Project, an organization that gives legal support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Andi was also closely involved with many non-profit organizations in Central Texas, including the Texas Freedom Network, Hill Country Ride for AIDS, and United Way of Central Texas. She also served as chair of the Austin Area Comprehensive HIV Planning Council, citizen group that directed the spending of federal funds to help those living with HIV and AIDS.

Those who wish to honor Andi’s legacy may make a contribution in her memory to Texas Advocacy Project (P.O. Box 833, Austin TX 78767 or online here) or MD Anderson Cancer Center (online here).

I will miss my friend Andi’s dazzling smile and positive energy. She made a tremendous mark on our world, and she has been taken from us far too soon. My deepest sympathy goes out to all who loved her.