Niki Vrooman Perry, 38, of South Philadelphia, a chef, writer, and advocate for brain-cancer research, died of the disease Thursday, June 30, at home.
Mrs. Perry was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 2006. The cancer was treated with chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation.
She shared her quest for a cure and her experience with the medical establishment on Internet message boards and as a frequent contributor to a website sponsored by the Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research and Information.
In 2009, Mrs. Perry joined a vaccine trial in Pittsburgh after exhaustive research into treatment options around the country.
At the time, she told The Inquirer, she was so frustrated that doctors wouldn't tell her about hospital trials that she began collecting information for other patients. Though she found the decision process "hugely overwhelming," she saw research as a way to exert control over a frightening situation. "I'm really scared of what I don't understand, so I need to understand it, and I need to feel less helpless," she said.