In Memory of Elizabeth Mejia
There are good reasons why Elizabeth Mejia, PsyD, was more committed than ever to people affected by cancer. Liz grew up in Southern California and received a Doctorate in Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Besides private practice work, Liz facilitated groups at CSCP and Cancer Support Community Los Angeles and served on the CSC National Helpline since its inception. Liz chaired and was a participant on several committees, published research, and had been quoted in numerous publications. Her doctoral dissertation was titled The Effects of Attending a Cancer Support Group on Latina Cancer Patients.
Liz received jarring news in February 2019 when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 glioblastoma (brain cancer). She confronted many of the issues that her group members have spoken of over the years: “the initial impact of a diagnosis, the loss of control, feelings of isolation…what it truly means to be a cancer patient. Now I am more committed than ever to support individuals impacted by cancer.”
Even while attending to her treatment and healing process, Liz still strongly believed in the work of CSCP. She valued CSCP’s initiatives to provide additional programming in multiple languages and appreciated that “CSCP continues to address the needs of our growing and diverse community.” Liz was also pleased to witness the benefits of virtual programming: “We had a group member join us from her private office, we had another join us from the hospital bed, and another while they were getting their chemo. Virtual programs have provided the opportunity to truly break down limitations and open CSCP up to a larger audience.”
One of CSCP’s biggest champions, Liz found it hard to pinpoint one aspect of CSCP that she admired the most. She quite simply said that the people that she interacts with are truly the heart of CSCP. She was continually amazed by the strong connections that members foster, which last far beyond their diagnoses. Liz had given so much to CSCP yet remained humble and grateful: she felt “blessed by all those who have helped me by sharing their own testimony, and by those who have built a community so that no one faces cancer alone.”
Liz was a beloved part of CSCP's team. She mentored several CSCP staff members and interns over her years of service. She is survived by her partner, Robert, and her loving children and grandchildren. Liz will be greatly missed by CSCP staff and members.