The Stan Greenspon and Maureen O’Keefe UNC Lineberger Pediatric Special Needs Fund will help families with the expenses that arise when a child needs cancer treatment. “Many of our patients travel great distances to receive the specialized care we offer,” explains Patient Assistance Coordinator for UNC Lineberger’s Comprehensive Cancer Support Program (CCSP), Cindy Rogers. “Also, when a child has cancer, it’s common for the household income to decline because parents take time off work to accompany their child to medical appointments. Increased expenses and a loss of income make an already stressful situation even more difficult for our families.”
Maureen explains their perspective. “While money for research and hospitals is important, we can’t forget about the basic support these families may need. There is enough to worry about when you have a sick child without worrying about how to pay for gas or utilities.”
Stan, a proud alumnus of UNC, and Maureen are both long-time supporters of UNC Lineberger. They first learned about the good work being done at the cancer center several years ago when their friend, Fountain Odom, told them how pleased he was with the care his wife was receiving there. They have since made regular annual gifts.
After touring the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Clinic at the N.C. Cancer Hospital with Dr. Julie Blatt, they knew immediately that they wanted to do something to help the patients seeking treatment there.
“Dr. Blatt’s passion for her patients was so evident,” recalls Maureen. “We put ourselves in the position of the parents trying to care for those children, and we knew that was what we wanted to support.”
Rogers and her CCSP colleagues were thrilled to learn of Stan and Maureen’s generous gift. “With this gift, we will be able to tailor assistance packages that will address the individual needs or our pediatric patient families,” says Rogers. “This fund will help our pediatric patients get the care they need, while helping reduce the financial stress the family is experiencing.”
Stan and Maureen wanted to maximize the impact of their gift to UNC Lineberger. They arranged for a substantial gift to be dispersed over time. The fund can begin to help families immediately, and it will continue to provide assistance to patients and families in the future.
UNC Lineberger is grateful for Stan and Maureen’s support and will share updates with them detailing the ways in which their gift is being used to help. “We just wanted to do something to help these children and their families during a difficult time,” explains Stan. “We’re extremely pleased to support this incredible hospital, and it’s meaningful to us to give to a place that we know will use the money well.”