Dr. Audrey E. Evans, emeritus Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania and the first Chief of the Division of Oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, died peacefully at her home on September 29, 2022, surrounded by loved ones at the age of 97. She will be remembered for her groundbreaking leadership in developing new treatments for children with cancer and for establishing the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House as a home away from home for families whose children are being treated for serious illnesses. The original House in Philadelphia has served as the model for the now 375 Homes around the world today.
Audrey E. Evans was born March 6, 1925, in York, England, the second of three children. Audrey developed a passion for horses and equestrian pursuits early in life that she carried with her well into her seventies. After receiving her medical training at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, she came to the U.S. in the early 1950’s on a Fulbright scholarship. She trained with Dr. Sydney Farber and was on the frontline of the first successful treatments of human cancer with chemotherapy. During these early years in Boston, Baltimore and Chicago, Dr. Evans, formed her lifelong commitment to the problem of childhood cancer, and dedicated her career to not only improving cure rates, but also to do so with a focus on quality of life during and after treatment. She was a trailblazer and serves as a role model for several generations of pediatric oncologists. Her holistic view of how serious illness impacts not just the patient, but the entire family has influenced the approach to children with cancer of countless childhood cancer health care professionals. “A sick child is a sick family”, she would often say. Read more