It has been ten years since the nation was captivated by the plight of the only physician at the South Pole after she found a lump in her breast and, with the help of others at the outpost conducted her own biopsy and confirmed that the mass was cancerous. The harsh South Pole winter prevented a rescue, but during a lull in the weather, chemotherapy drugs were airdropped and she treated herself for four months, until she could be evacuated for treatment.
Treatment was successful, the cancer went into remission and she lived to write about her ordeal in Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole.
She later told an interviewer in 2001 that her ordeal had made her come to realize that "it's not really when you die, it's whether or not you really lived."
The cancer returned in 2005, and she lost her battle yesterday, passing away at her home in Southwick, Mass with her husband, Thomas FitzGerald, at her side. She was 57 years old, and she really lived all of them.