Shirley Mertz, MA, JD
Shirley Mertz is a retired high school principal and educator who was treated for early stage breast cancer in 1991. Twelve years later, her cancer returned as metastatic breast cancer. For 18 years, she has used her voice, passion and skills as a patient advocate in the U.S. and globally to help patients and to increase research focused on metastatic disease. To create awareness about metastatic breast cancer in October, Shirley led a group of patients to Washington D.C. in 2009 and successfully lobbied leaders of Congress to pass a resolution designating October 13th as National MBC Awareness Day. Currently, Shirley leads the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, serves on the Board of Directors of the ABC6 Global Alliance, is a member of the leadership team of the MBC Alliance, and a patient advocate with the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium. Shirley often is invited to speak publicly about the challenges and the needs of metastatic patients. In 2011 President Obama honored Shirley as a Champion of Change in Breast Cancer at the White House. In 2017, during Susan G. Komen’s 35th anniversary, she was named one of 35 global individuals who have made a significant impact in the fight to end breast cancer (Photo by Breastcancer.org).