When Susanna Quinn was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer, she called in her girl squad from ABC, CBS, CNN and Fox
A quarterback, a coach and a herd of faithful fans offering unwavering sideline support—every good team needs them. And as Fox News correspondent and Prevent Cancer Virtual Gala host Jennifer Griffin will tell you, the group’s responsibilities during friend Susanna Quinn’s cancer journey were no different. Despite being far from home during treatment at Mass General Hospital and being separated from her immunocompromised husband, Jack, at the time, Quinn was never alone.
She had the Wobbles.
It all started with a “night of too much dancing” when Quinn’s longtime college friend Elizabeth Thorp decided to show everyone how to do “The Wobble” by V.I.C. It was Quinn’s 50th birthday and she had invited 12 girlfriends for a celebratory weekend in Jamaica. They included her two best friends from high school, Thorp from college and a host of women from all walks of media—Dana Bash (CNN), Nancy Cordes (CBS), Gloria Riviera (ABC), Jennifer Griffin (Fox News) and Stephanie Cutter (Precision Strategies). Breaking free of work obligations, they celebrated their dear mutual friend Susanna, all becoming fast buddies themselves in the process. The crew came to be dubbed:“The Wobbles” after the comical dance party.
One month later, Susanna was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. While the outlook was initially bleak, Prevent Cancer Foundation founder and CEO Carolyn “Bo” Aldige and another friend, former U.S Assistant Surgeon General, Dr. Susan Blumenthal, guided her to Mass General and the renowned surgeon, Dr.Whitfield Growdon, who saved her life.
You can’t beat cancer crying in pajamas. And dark roots and chipped nails make me feel shitty even in the best of circumstances. So, four days after my cancer diagnosis, I got my hair colored, nails done, bought a new blazer and I forced myself to exercise. How could I be dying, if I could play tennis? I had doctors to meet and I wanted to look healthy, strong and like I was ready to fight. – Susanna Quinn
The Wobbles turned into cancer warriors. Griffin, a survivor herself after her fight with stage 3 triple-negative breast cancer, knew all too well the pain Quinn was experiencing. As Griffin puts it,“[Quinn] needed a cancer coach. So, Thorp, who was our team quarterback, put me in.”This team concept wasn’t just a metaphor, it was real. The Wobbles not only shared tricks, laughter and support to distract Susanna from the pain, the complications and the additional surgeries, they quite literally shared a bed with her at times. Just six weeks after her diagnosis and multiple surgeries at Mass General, Quinn underwent chemotherapy.
Susanna and The Wobbles’ story brings new meaning to the term extraordinary. Because many of the women that make up The Wobbles are strong women in media from rival TV networks, some might find it hard to believe that these women would have such a powerful bond. Yet, as Griffin puts it, “We may be fierce competitors when chasing stories in D.C., but our friendship transcended all of that. In the process, we learned more about oncology than many ever hoped to know. We questioned the [team] as though we were front row at a press conference on Capitol Hill or at the Pentagon. We were all business, but united in our goal of getting our friend through this ordeal and home safely. As a result, ALL of The Wobbles are now friends for life.”
$1.5 million was raised at Prevent Cancer Foundation’s virtual event. Funds will support research and the organization’s “Back on the Books” campaign, reminding people to schedule pandemic-postponed cancer screenings.