The Brigham community mourns the loss of Lynn Detwiler, BSN, RN, an oncology case manager in Care Continuum Management, who died Jan. 16 of breast cancer. She was 55.
A member of the Brigham community since 2019, Mrs. Detwiler is remembered by colleagues for her comforting presence and warm, loving nature.
“Lynn was the kindest soul and very generous with her love,” said Ania Noel-Edwards, BSN, RN, care coordination nurse. “She always had a beautiful smile and way of making you laugh, and she never really worried too much, even when her patient load was heavy. Her favorite words were, ‘It’s OK, my dear. I love you.’”
As an oncology case manager, Mrs. Detwiler was responsible for helping cancer patients and their families navigate the intricacies of admission, discharge, insurance questions, medication coverage and post-discharge services, such as connecting them with a visiting nurse or rehabilitation facility.
Above all, it was Mrs. Detwiler’s unwavering commitment to her patients and their families — even while managing her own illness — that left her colleagues in awe.
“Lynn was always interested in helping people and never complained about anything she was going through, no matter how much pain she was having or any of the side effects she had,” said Carolyn Molina, BSN, RN, care coordination nurse. “She had so much strength and this ability to make you feel at ease and welcome every time you talked to her. She was a genuine and sweet person whom I am honored to call my friend, and I greatly miss her.”
Alexandra Koffman, MSN, RN, care coordination nurse, felt a special bond with Mrs. Detwiler not only as a friend and colleague but also because they had both lived with breast cancer. Koffman, like her colleagues, also recalled how Mrs. Detwiler’s tireless work ethic and soothing words were an inspiration.
“She worked hard when most would have given into her disease,” Koffman said. “I never heard her say a discouraging word, and she was always smiling. I will miss her.”
Lalitha Mantha, MPH, RN, a staff nurse on CWN 7 who also works as a per-diem care coordination nurse, recalled how she got to know Mrs. Detwiler after covering one of her shifts. From there, their friendship blossomed.
“Lynn is the only person who approached me to find out if there were any gaps in her work and how she could improve. I was struck by the sincerity of her request,” Mantha said. “Shortly after, I learned she was sick. I remain in awe of her ability to face the reality of her condition daily, in the lives of other cancer patients. It is my good fortune that our paths crossed and that she was my friend. I will miss her raw sense of humor and her texts with heart emojis.”
Nursing was truly Mrs. Detwiler’s calling, Noel-Edwards said.
“During my last conversation with her before she passed, Lynn said how much she missed the Brigham family. She enjoyed being here with the team,” she said. “She was extremely dedicated to her patients. There were occasions when she had a chemotherapy appointment at Dana-Farber in the afternoon and she would come into work that morning. We would tell her to stay home and rest, but she was very committed.”
Mrs. Detwiler is survived by her husband, Gregg, and their daughter, Elena. She is predeceased by her son, José Vincente.