Spectrum campaign sees first donation

REED CITY — A significant donation made by a Big Rapids couple on Thursday showed Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital is making important strides in it’s largest and most important capital campaign in the hospital’s 127-year history. Karl and Cindy Linebaugh, of Big Rapids, donated to the hospital’s $2.4 million fundraising effort to expand facilities to meet the community’s cancer care needs well into the future. Along with Sheri Thompson, Karl co-chairs the Bringing Hope Closer to Home Campaign. The effort challenges the community to provide philanthropic support at a level unprecedented in this region. To reach the $2.4 million goal, they must rely on generous support from the communities within the 11-county region where Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital provides cancer treatment. The cornerstone of the Bringing Hope to Home Capital Campaign is a lead gift from the Wheatlake family: Frank, Susan, Drew and Bret. Frank and Susan P. Wheatlake are the founders of the Wheatlake Cancer and Wellness Center at Mecosta County Medical Center in Big Rapids. Through her own personal journey with cancer, Susan realized a need for educational resources for patients and family members. With the help of the MCMC Foundation, the Susan P. Wheatlake Women’s Cancer and Wellness Endowment Fund established the Cancer and Wellness Center located in Big Rapids. This service continues to provide assistance for cancer patients and families seeking educational resources and encouragement. A full scope of preventative efforts and education, diagnosis and treatment all under one roof has always been the Wheatlake’s vision. This dream came into focus when Susan became involved in the cancer center plans through her role as a volunteer with the Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital Oncology Patient and Family Advisory Council. From strategy development to analyzing architectural renderings, her personal experience with cancer and passion for helping others compelled the family to lead the Bringing Hope Closer to Home Capital Campaign. “We are blessed to have outstanding hospitals in our area,” Karl said. “Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital and Mecosta County Medical Center provide award-winning services to our communities. In addition, we have infusion therapy services and the Crossroads Radiation Therapy Center located at the intersection of US 131 and US 10. An average of 50 patients a day access these services as demand for cancer care continues to grow.” There are many opportunities for donating to the new cancer center and additional facility naming opportunities as well. For more information on how to donate to the new center, contact the Spectrum Health Foundation at 231.832.7184 or visit the website at
and click on the Bringing Hope Closer to Home link.