Businessman, volunteer and philanthropist leaves legacy for future cancer patients
(Baton Rouge, La.) With the news of restauranteur, philanthropist and cancer survivor Thomas J. “T.J.” Moran’s death on Monday, many in the community, including his former caregivers and friends at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center (Cancer Center) are remembering him for his generosity, compassion and making Baton Rouge a better place to live. Moran was a supporter of many nonprofit organizations throughout the community; however, his volunteer and philanthropic contributions to the Cancer Center were well noted.
While many in the Baton Rouge community knew Moran for the successful restaurants he started, at the Cancer Center, he was also known as a fearless survivor and visionary philanthropist. As a 26-year cancer survivor, he credited his physician and treatment team at the Cancer Center with extending his life for many years.
“T.J. was a courageous patient, and his tenacity was unmatched,” said Robert S. Fields, M.D., radiation oncologist at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and longtime friend of Moran. “I remember vividly one time when he was under treatment he left the hospital to attend an LSU basketball game. He was determined to beat cancer and not let his disease define how he was going to live his life. I will miss my dear friend.”
Moran’s immense gratitude and respect for the Cancer Center team led him to make an extraordinary donation of $1 million to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Foundation in December 2010. His overwhelming generosity, born of his desire to thank his caregivers for the excellent care he received, brought the Heart of a Hero grateful giving program to life.
“We feel privileged to have provided Mr. Moran’s cancer care,” said Brett Furr, board chair, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “Through his bravery and visionary leadership, he has helped the Cancer Center to positively impact more patients’ outcomes with lifesaving technology, national clinical trials and support programs. Because of Mr. Moran, many people now view the Cancer Center as a philanthropic giving option, and that allows us to continue providing the highest quality care to patients throughout the Gulf South.”
Through his vision and generosity, other donors joined him to raise more than $2 million through honor and memorial giving. Many inaugural donors made their gift in honor of Moran to help build a destination cancer center for the region.
As a tribute to Moran’s gift, and because he understood the critical role diagnostic imaging plays in initial cancer diagnosis, treatment planning and follow-up care, in 2014, the Cancer Center dedicated the state-of-the-art Thomas J. Moran Imaging Center in his name. The imaging center offers key diagnostic technologies, including digital X-ray, CT, SPECT, PET, nuclear medicine and MRI. Staffed with cancer specialists, the Moran Imaging Center is designed to comprehensively meet the unique needs of cancer patients.
“Mr. Moran will be missed by the Cancer Center family, but his legacy will live on for generations through the imaging center and the many other ways he helped to provision state-of-the-art cancer care for the future,” said Todd Stevens, president and chief executive officer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.
The Moran family has announced that those wishing to pay their final respects may do so during visitation at Rabenhorst Funeral Home East, 11000 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Friday, May 22, from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. A celebration of his life and Mass of Christian Burial, officiated by Fr. Mike Schatzle, will be held Saturday, May 23 at 10:30 a.m. at St. George Catholic Church, 7808 St. George Catholic Drive, Baton Rouge.
In lieu of flowers, Moran’s family has asked that donations be made to the Cancer Center to benefit patients through the Heart of Hero grateful giving program. For more information, visit mbpolol.org/hero, call (225) 215-1224 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the Gulf South destination for cancer care, Mary Bird Perkins—Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers advanced technology and services provided by nationally-recognized doctors and other oncology health professionals who have dedicated their lives to fighting the disease. The Cancer Center is consistently recognized for its dedication to offering leading-edge, comprehensive care at every stage of the cancer journey.