Dana Massaro lost her husband, Ken Verdoni, in 2011 after a seven-year battle with cancer. Ken had colorectal cancer, which eventually spread to his liver and lungs. Once the cancer has spread, it is notoriously difficult to treat. Ken passed away at just 59 years of age.
Throughout his illness, Ken was treated by Dr. Peter Metrakos at the MUHC. Shortly before he died, he told Dana that he wanted to do something to help Dr. Metrakos fight this deadly cancer.
“When he passed, I knew I had to do something to honour Ken and to help Dr. Metrakos in his research to treat metastatic cancer,” says Dana.
Dana began to fundraise. She held a golf tournament, a cocktail dînatoire and even published her journal about the first forty days after Ken’s passing. Determined to do more, Dana decided to leave a planned gift to the MUHC. She took out a life insurance policy with the MUHC as the beneficiary.
Dana’s gifts created the Ken Verdoni Liver Metastases Fellowship, which is awarded to up-and-coming cancer researchers to allow them to work in Dr. Metrakos’ lab. This year marks a milestone: Dana has been fundraising for 10 years, and has raised over $500,000 to support cancer research.
“Ten years later, I am still involved with keeping Ken’s memory alive. I want to continue honouring him by helping others on their cancer journey,” says Dana.
Leaving a gift in your Will to the MUHC Foundation ensures excellence in health care for generations to come. Planned gifts are a vital way of ensuring the hospital is there for you and your loved ones when it matters most.