For the Laughter

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Linda Hill, Cancer Survivor

Cancer first tested Linda Hill’s mettle when she was just 19 years old. Since then, cancer has taken a lot—her breasts, colon, thyroid, and spleen—but it will never take her sense of humor. A single parent of seven, Linda has transformed loss into laughter. Following breast cancer surgery, she fashioned a T-shirt that reads, “Of course they’re fake—the real ones tried to kill me!” So began a creative outlet for her battle with cancer: a T-Shirt company named “somuchmore.” Grown from laughter and a gift for one-liners, somuchmore has captured such zingers as “mastectomy (mas tek’ te me): A procedure to help a woman find a real man” and “I lost my colon, but I’m still full of crap!” Linda donates $2 from each sale to Huntsman Cancer Foundation in support of Huntsman Cancer Institute’s research. While joy and mirth surround Linda, her purpose is serious. She says, “Cancer does not define us. It wasn’t my colon that makes me love to bake. It wasn’t my breasts that make me crazy and outgoing. And it wasn’t my thyroid that gave me faith in God.” Linda has many one-liners yet to write, declaring “I am so much more than cancer.”

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For the Children

Following a 10-year battle with cancer, Judge Anne Stirba succumbed to the disease in 2001. Her husband Peter was left to care for their daughters, Emily and Melissa. Numb at first, Peter carried on, losing himself in the distractions of running a household while also maintaining a successful law practice. As one way to cope with the loss of his wife, he started an annual 5K race, the JudgesRun, in her honor. This modest event snowballed into a major local cancer philanthropy, the Anne Stirba Cancer Foundation, which has raised tens of thousands of dollars to support breast cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Peter knows all the punch lines to the bad lawyer jokes—he wryly suggests his work on behalf of cancer is his way of atoning for his profession—yet the tender way he talks about his daughters explains his real motivation. Understanding cancer is a genetic disease, Peter says, “I look forward to a future free of cancer for Emily, Melissa, and future generations.”

For the Future

Helen Swallow, born in 1915, passed away in 2009 at the age of 94. She worked hard during her lifetime, primarily in clerical and administrative positions for the government, including a stint with the “Champion of Land Conservation,” H. Bryan Mock. Always forward-looking, she and her late husband, George L. Swallow, lived frugally and gave back more than they took. After Helen’s passing, Huntsman Cancer Foundation received a bequest—a gift left by legal will—of more than $600,000 to support cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute. When finally unwrapped, the Swallow’s gift quite literally gives another the opportunity to look forward to a lifetime free of cancer. It’s a gift of hope for the future.

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Rendering of Hospital Expansion

For Today

Since opening in 2004, Huntsman Cancer Hospital has operated at or near capacity. As the only cancer specialty hospital in the Intermountain West, Huntsman Cancer Institute physicians treat the rarest, most difficult cancers. In response to this burgeoning need, in 2008 ground was broken to expand the hospital and double the space for healing and hope. Cost for the expansion is $111 million; donations are needed and any level of gift is important. Amounts ranging from $10,000 to $1 million or more may be recognized by naming spaces in the new facility. The hospital expansion will be completed in 2011 and will include

  • 50 additional inpatient rooms
  • 25 additional outpatient exam rooms
  • 4 additional operating rooms
  • New Breast Cancer Center
  • New Center for Investigational Therapeutics
  • Expanded personalized medicine clinics
  • Expanded Cancer Learning Center
  • Expanded molecular imaging technologies
  • Expanded Wellness and Survivorship Center

To learn more about establishing a planned gift to benefit HCI, donating to the hospital expansion, and other ways to help, contact Susan Sheehan, HCF Executive Director of Development: 801-584-5807, susan.sheehan@huntsmancancerfoundation.org.

In 2009, contributions to Huntsman Cancer Foundation came 15% from individuals, 38% from foundations, and 47% from corporations.