$2.5 million Gift for Patient Support at KU Hospital | KCUR

$2.5 million Gift for Patient Support at KU Hospital

Apr 30, 2013

A Leawood couple has donated $2.5 million to expand a patient-support program at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.

A cancer diagnosis can be a bewildering event.  Having a trained professional to guide the way can make a huge difference.  That’s why Tom and Teresa Walsh are putting up the money to fund five, experienced nurse navigators at the KU Cancer Center.

“You have somebody with you to hold your hand, kind of help you along the way.  There’s so many questions, and you’re so scared in the beginning,” says Teresa Walsh.

Teresa Walsh experienced these emotions ten years ago, when her father underwent cancer treatment at the University of Kansas Hospital.  Her husband, Tom, says navigators provide support not only for the patient, but for the family, too.

“The entire family can be engaged, and understand, and be helpful to the whole treatment process,” says Walsh.  “I mean, that was key to us, to make sure that the experience really had a complete treatment, not just the medical side, but the family side as well.”

Two years ago, the Walsh family gave a $2 million gift to the cancer center, including a million dollars to establish the Walsh Family Foundation Patient Navigation Fund.