William Hoover Oncology Endowment
In February 2008, I watched my 60-year old father take his last breath as he left this earth after a four-year battle with prostate cancer. In the five years that have passed since his death, I’ve experienced grief, sadness and loss. However, I also wanted to live up to a promise I made him when he was sick, and that was that he would never be forgotten. As I held his hand at his bedside I promised him that he would be remembered for all of the wonderful things he did during his time here on this earth.
My father grew up as an orphan in Sunbury from the age of 18 months until he was 18 years old. He literally had nothing. Despite his hardship, he was vice president of his high school class, an athlete, a scholar and a friend to everyone. He would work late nights doing his chores at the orphanage and relied on the kindness of strangers to help him better himself. He entered the Navy, put himself through college and taught elementary school for 34 years at Shikellamy School District. He married his soul-mate, and despite never having parents of his own, he became the world’s greatest Dad.
We were blessed that when Dad was going through cancer treatment at Geisinger Health System, we never had to want for anything. We had plenty of friends and family who could assist with appointments, he had good health insurance, and he could focus his energy on fighting the disease. Not all patients are this lucky and many deal with the financial day to day struggles of dealing with cancer treatment. Knowing that Dad was blessed to have help from others and that he relied on that kindness in his early years, I knew he would want to do the same. So when I was asked to give a gift to The Centennial Campaign, I wanted to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients, and do so in memory of my Dad.
I rallied my co-workers in the Office of Resource Development and asked them to consider helping me open a fund for cancer patients in my Dad’s name. I had hoped to raise $10,000 so I could open the fund and grow it from there. Within three days of coming up with the idea, my co-workers (who I consider dear friends) pledged over $27,000 to start this fund. The William Hoover Oncology Endowment was born. One-year later this fund now has more than $50,000 in gifts and pledges and will be used to assist cancer patients by overcoming barriers they may have to receiving treatment and the care they need.
I know Dad is looking down and smiling. And, as I promised him five years ago, his name will never be forgotten.
- Angela Brouse
Senior Director, Service Line Advancement, Oncology and Women’s Health