Program Inspired by T.J. Moran
(Baton Rouge, La.) Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center kicked off its new and exciting grateful giving program called Heart of a Hero on Sunday, July 17, at a dinner to honor Mr. Thomas J. “T.J.” Moran at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Baton Rouge. Moran, in an extraordinary gift of gratitude to honor his treatment team “for saving and extending his life,” recently donated one million dollars to the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Foundation. His overwhelming generosity, born of a desire to thank his caregivers; recognize the excellent care he received; and ensure that generations to come have access to the very best cancer care possible, inspired Heart of a Hero – recognition gifts for the fight against cancer. “Saving lives and extending life is possible,” said Moran, a 22-year survivor of cancer and patient of Mary Bird Perkins.
Moran’s nephew, Thomas Kiebach, DDS, served as the evening’s emcee, welcoming more than 150 guests. “My uncle’s hope is that his story and commitment will inspire others to join him in honoring their heroes and helping Mary Bird Perkins at the same time,”Kiebach said. “He knows the life-saving work a strong endowment will make possible for future generations.”
Other speakers included, from Mary Bird Perkins, Richard Lipsey, board chairman emeritus; Todd Stevens, president and CEO; Donna Saurage, chairman, board of directors; Robert Greer, board chairman emeritus and cancer survivor; and Dr. Robert Fields, Moran’s radiation oncologist at Mary Bird Perkins – who Moran recognized as one of his personal heroes. Many guests joined forces with Moran by naming their own heroes and sharing their stories while making a commitment. Surprising everyone, Moran announced his intention to match all gifts pledged that night.
Heart of a Hero enables Mary Bird Perkins team members and extended community family to respond to the questions so often asked by patients and their families: I’m so grateful for the care and compassion received – what can I do to say “thank you”, and how can I help make sure the fight against cancer is never diminished in our community? Through Heart of a Herothere is now a wonderful and meaningful way to give back and recognize your hero at the same time.
“Patientsare our heroes,” said Todd Stevens. “This program will become a vital part of providing critical services to our heroes and advancing work in the fight against cancer at the same time.”
The Heart of a Hero program is best summarized by Moran’s heartfelt words. “Mary Bird Perkins can help this community and you can help Mary Bird Perkins by recognizing that everyone has a hero in their life. Everyone has someone they truly admire and would do anything for… and together we can beat this disease.”
The program is currently launching at the Baton Rouge, Gonzales and Hammond Centers.
If you would like to recognize your hero or the exceptional care Mary Bird Perkins provides, more information is available at www.marybird.org/hero.