Cancer center receives memorial generator

Anonymous donor gives generator in honor of late wife Barb

REED CITY — Losing a loved one to cancer is a devastating experience, but one anonymous donor is determined to help others by fulfilling his late wife’s wish.

Barb, the donor’s wife, was first diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2001. After a mastectomy and radiation treatments she went into remission, but the cancer returned in 2006 and then again in 2013. After a double mastectomy and multiple treatments at the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center, Barb passed away in January.

Visiting the cancer center up to two times per week, Barb had become close to the staff who provided her treatment.

"Everyone became a family. We felt like we were important to Dr. Scott and Amber Jackson (Barb’s infusion nurse)," her husband remembers.

Grateful to the center’s staff for the way they treated Barb, her husband sought a way to give back.

"While she was getting infusion treatments, Barb always said, 'What would happen if the power went out in this place?' That’s what made me think of a generator," he said.

Though the infusion pumps at the center are equipped with battery backup, they would only be functional for a few hours in the event of an outage. If an extended outage occurred, patients would need to be moved across the street to Reed City Hospital to continue their treatment. After learning this, her husband started a memorial to donate the funds for a generator to ensure patients could continue treatment at the center if power was out for an extended period of time.

The generator was installed this week in memory of Barb and in honor of Dr. William Scott and Amber Jackson. The donor is glad that his wife’s legacy will live on through his gift to the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center. And while Barb would not want anyone to be making a fuss over her, her family knows they are doing the right thing honoring her memory.

“Barb’s life so reflected a generator — unnoticed until the need arose. Our family is so grateful for the care that she received at this center. Barb’s treatment here was second to none,” he said.