BENEFITING: LUNGEVITY FOUNDATION
EVENT DATE: Mar 16, 2014
Monica Susanne Pence Barlow, 36, passed away on the morning of Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, in Columbia, Md., due to complications from non-small cell lung cancer. She did not lose a battle with cancer and found that phrase offensive to anyone who has faced cancer and refused to let it define them. She leaves behind her husband, Ben, and miniature Dachshund Dasher.
Monica was director of Public Relations for the Orioles, becoming one of the few women to hold that role in Major League Baseball. She was respected throughout the Orioles and Major League Baseball for her kindness, humor, excellence, and professionalism. In late summer 2009, while training with Ben for a half-marathon, Monica had a nagging cough checked out only to be diagnosed with Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer.
While being treated, Monica, a tremendously private person in a public position, became increasingly frustrated with the relatively low amount of research funding for lung cancer a disease that annually claims more lives than breast, colon, pancreatic, and prostate cancer combined; with one in 14 people being diagnosed in their lifetimes and 20 percent of them, like Monica, having never smoked. Monica became actively involved in Lungevity, an organization dedicated to raising funds for lung cancer research, and Stand Up To Cancer, Major League Baseball’s cancer research initiative. She gave interviews, raised funds, shared with other survivors, and was featured in an exhibit on the human genome currently in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
Monica loved spending time with her family and friends, adored her dog, and enjoyed traveling. She was a gifted writer and a voracious reader. She cared deeply for people, especially those also facing illness or physical or mental challenges. She was one of those unique people that make those around them better.