Aug 16, 2021 4:00 PM


Gratitude. It is a word we often hear these days. We are advised that by keeping a journal that records our daily thoughts of gratitude, we improve our wellbeing. The very act of expressing appreciation improves our state of mind and sense of optimism and abundance.

In this monthly message, I often express gratitude. I thank people who make financial contributions to support the mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). I have lauded the selfless acts of volunteers. I have marveled at the skilled researchers and clinicians who challenge cancer in the labs and at the bedside. I have spotlighted the heroism of our patients. But I think I have also had a blind spot. While unintentional, I have not adequately expressed my gratitude for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation team. I do so privately within the team, but I need to thank this phenomenal team publically.

The Huntsman Cancer Foundation team is a talented group of event organizers, donation managers, grant writers, social media content wizards, and hard-core technology and money managers. It is a team diverse in backgrounds and deep in professional experience and aptitude in the profession. When this team first formed in 2006, we raised about $3 million each year with gifts from about 100,000 supporters. In our most recent capital campaign, we raised $108 million in just 18 months for the construction of the Kathryn F. Kirk Center for Comprehensive Cancer Care and Women’s Cancers.

This work was done at the same time we continued to raise annual support in the amount of $15 million each year for cancer research and continued to pay the remaining debt service for the expanded research facility dedicated in 2017, which cost $116 million to construct. In December 2020, we quietly donated this building outright to HCI with no debt incurred to the institute or university—an unprecedented gift of research space, with no debt or strings attached beyond that it is used for cancer research.

We have one million supporters who have fueled our progress. That is a tenfold increase from the number of supporters we had in 2006.

So today, I offer my personal thank you to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation team. Thank you for your excellence. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for your friendship. You are literal lifesavers.

The Huntsman Cancer Foundation Team

Brad Bishop, Major Gifts Officer
Jacqueline Brakey, Director of Integrated Communications
Raegan Erickson, Event Coordinator
Ashley Howell, Event Manager
Tom Hanratty, Lead Gift Officer, Sigma Chi
Kelly Hermans, Marketing and Communications Specialist
Kim McAffee, Executive Secretary
Meredith McBride, Development Specialist/Office Manager
Jen Murano, Director of Events
Jerry Nelson, Major Gifts Officer
Jill-Ann Pearl, Executive Director of Foundation Operations
Brandon Plewe, Major Gifts Officer
Ale Rios, Development Specialist, Gift Processing
Loren Savage, Executive Director of Major Gifts
Margo Snyder, Development Specialist, Gift Processing
Kristen VanLeeuwen, Event Coordinator

Sincerely,

Susan Sheehan
President and COO
Huntsman Cancer Foundation

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Susan Sheehan
President and COO
Huntsman Cancer Foundation