Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

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The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota was founded in 1991 under the leadership of Dr. John Kersey, a pioneer in cancer research and treatment.

When Betsy was diagnosed, we were fortunate that some of the best doctors in the world, and one of the top bone marrow transplant programs, were just a ten-minute drive from our home.

The Masonic Cancer Center brings together some of the brightest scientific minds around one mission:  enhancing the care of cancer patients.  They do this through groundbreaking research focusing on the causes, prevention, detection and treatment of cancer.

Betsy is one of many examples of how this mission is being fulfilled.  It wasn’t long ago that curing blast crisis CML was a pipe dream.  Luckily, a team of committed doctors and nurses at the University of Minnesota helped keep Betsy on a narrow path to survival and cure.

In 1998, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota a comprehensive cancer center. It is one of only 41 institutions in the United States to hold this designation, which is awarded only to institutions that make ongoing, significant advances in cancer research, treatment, and education.

If you want to learn more about the Masonic Cancer Center, or would like to make a donation to support their important work, please click here.

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Dr. John Kersey

The first director of the Masonic Cancer Center also happened to be an old family friend.  Dr. John Kersey went to medical school with my dad at the University of Minnesota.

When Betsy was diagnosed, Dr. Kersey became one of our key advocates and supporters.  He answered questions, checked in with Betsy’s doctor, and visited Betsy in the hospital.

Dr. Kersey died unexpectedly in March 2013.

Dr. Kersey dedicated his life to the development of new treatments for childhood cancer.  In 1975, he led the team that completed the world’s first successful bone marrow transplant for malignant lymphoma.  That patient is alive and well today.

Betsy’s life is a testament to the legacy that Dr. Kersey left behind.

You can read more about Dr. Kersey here.

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