Jean G. Vicks passed away on April 5, 2013 after her fourteen year battle with medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). She was 49. The diagnosis of MTC in 1999 resulted in seven surgeries, two clinical trials and three additional chemotherapy regimens in her desire to be well. Jean was honored as the inspiration for ITOG at the ITOG Annual Meeting at the Mayo Clinic in April. Jean’s grace, selflessness and enthusiasm in the face of overwhelming challenges are an inspiration to all who knew her.
When Jean was diagnosed, she made a goal to live long enough to see her children begin college. Jean achieved this goal by a couple of months. She was convinced that the work of ITOG members made the difference in her achieving this most cherished goal. Jean was on Caprelsa during its clinical trial phase for thirty-six months and shared her positive experience by testifying before the FDA in December 2010.
After graduation from Miss Porter’s School, Jean attended the University of Virginia, where she played varsity field hockey, majored in French and International Relations, and earned a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in 1985. She joined The Bank of New York in New York City and soon became a corporate lending officer. It was here that Jean met her husband, Dwight Vicks; the two were wed on June 13, 1987. Jean was an officer in the private lending division of Chemical Bank before the couple moved to Ithaca, NY, where she worked in Alumni Affairs and Development at Cornell University. With the birth of her twins, Sara Jane and Dwight Hatfield in 1991, Jean devoted her energies to raising her children. Her youngest, Emily Kathryn, was born in 1994.
The desire to give back and her passion for field hockey led Jean to a second career as coach and mentor to dozens of young women. She coached at New Hartford, Whitesboro and Clinton High Schools, and the USFA Futures program. The Section 3 coaches and referees honored Jean by dedicating the 2010 Section 3 Field Hockey tournament to her. She had the privilege of coaching her daughters Sara and Emily. Exercise was one of Jean’s passions, including the Masters Swim Program at Hamilton College, Swim Across America, numerous triathlons and the Boilermaker Road Race. She loved biking, cross-country skiing and walking her dogs either at the Bridgehampton Beach or the Root Glen at Hamilton College. Jean’s strong faith was in evidence as a member of St. James Episcopal Church in Clinton, NY, where she sang in the choir.