Writer. Speaker. Consultant. Advocate. Optimist.

Mary elizabeth williams

writer. speaker. consultant. optimist.


I’m Mary Elizabeth, a professional extrovert and Oxford comma enthusiast with about a thousand years experience, give or take a century. 

Publications I've written for include The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Salon, Time, and Health.

For the past several years I've been chronicling my adventures with Stage 4 cancer and working toward a better healthcare experience for all of us.

I’m currently enrolled in the Narrative Medicine certification program at Columbia University, and learning something new every day.

Photo by Deborah Copaken

Photo by Deborah Copaken

A series of catastrophes & miracles

My most recent book is on my experience with metastatic melanoma — and the groundbreaking immunotherapy clinical trial, pioneered by Nobel winner James Allison — that saved my life.

"Exhilarating and entertaining... Williams delivers a complex tale about a complex disease" — Kirkus (starred review)

SPEAKING & Consulting

Helping bridge the communication gaps between patients, doctors, and researchers is my mission.

I've talked about cancer, clinical trials, immunotherapy, grief, and the mental health challenges of living with illness for Memorial Sloan Kettering, Bristol Meyers Squibb, WCG, Flatiron Health, Pfizer, Jounce, Nektar, and multiple other organizations. 

I've also been a member of Stand Up to Cancer's immunotherapy dream team, am a Gilda's Club ambassador, member of NYU Langone’s Division of Medical Ethics Working Group on Compassionate Use & Preapproval Access, and have worked with the Parker Institute and the Cancer Research Institute.

I'd love to work with your organization too!
Just ask.