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Generous gifts of time, talent and financial support make cancer treatment more manageable

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Dr. Parsons with patient

A cancer diagnosis is never easy.

Every year, however, Gundersen employees, patients and community members gift generous amounts of time, talent and financial resources to make the journey as least stressful as possible.

Here's a look at three ways varying contributions to the Cancer Center have enriched patients' lives in 2017.

The gift of time

Volunteers—including the furry and four-legged—have donated hundreds of hours to brighten the days of patients receiving treatment in Infusion Services and elsewhere at Gundersen. From a warm smile to a happy tail wag, a visit from a volunteer is often a welcome ray of light for patients during an unpredictable time.

The gift of talent

A walk down the hall near Radiation Therapy reveals colorful canvases with dozens of signatures—a signifier that the owner of the name has completed treatment. The inspiring paintings are the creations of patients and staff, all of whom donate their time—and talent—to provide hope and help others recognize a milestone in their cancer journey.

The gift of money

Even with medical insurance, paying for cancer treatment can feel overwhelming. Donations to funds such as Paula's Purse lessen the financial burden of cancer It is a service that provides monetary support for families struggling to pay for basic necessities like food, gas and heat during treatment, thanks to a collaboration between Gundersen Medical Foundation, the Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders and the Norma J. Vinger Center for Breast Care.

Named in honor of Gundersen mammography technologist Paula Tower, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and died of the disease in 2007, Paula's Purse and other financial support can make a significant difference for families affected by cancer, especially around the holidays.

Learn more about or make a contribution to Paula's Purse at gundersenhealth.org/paula.

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