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Statement on the Death of Supreme Court Justice and Trailblazer Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By Dr. Louis J. DeGennaro, President and CEO of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society | September 19, 2020

Photo by Nikki Khan/The Washington Post via Getty Images


Here at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), we are devastated to learn of the passing of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. As the global leader in the fight against blood cancer, we stand with the cancer community – and all Americans – in mourning this trailblazer whose contributions to public health and equality will be felt by generations to come.

Justice Ginsburg battled various forms of cancer over the years, including colon, lung, and pancreatic cancer. Even while enduring treatment, she was determined to continue her critical work on the Supreme Court, all while maintaining strength, compassion, and benevolence. Known for her incredible resilience, she spoke openly about her cancer experience, inspiring patients and families everywhere.

Throughout her long and storied career, she was a champion for equality. Our community of blood cancer patients, families, and volunteers is forever grateful for her role siding with the court majority in 2015. By upholding the Affordable Care Act, and through several later decisions, Justice Ginsburg protected patients from discrimination based on their health history – a devastating practice that was common prior to the enactment of that landmark law. The law also marked important progress toward addressing healthcare disparities that impact people of color and other underserved populations, helping to reduce gaps in health insurance coverage and access. Because of her tireless efforts, more cancer patients have been able to access the lifesaving care they need.

Justice Ginsburg leaves an immense legacy. As we mourn her death, we stand committed to honoring her by continuing to fight for patients’ equal access to quality, affordable healthcare. Justice Ginsburg once said, “Real change – enduring change – happens one step at a time.” Together with our patients, volunteers, advocates, caregivers, survivors, families, researchers, and healthcare professionals, we are dedicated to stepping up together to create a world without blood cancer.