Hope Starts Here Campaign Co-Chairs

At the helm of the Hope Starts Here Campaign, which launched in January 2014, are three couples who know firsthand what Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center means for Arizona.

Serving side by side as co-chairs, John and Kathleen Graham; Larry and Sheree Hayward; and John Strittmatter and his wife, Pat Ganser, have all been touched by cancer. Some have been impacted personally. Others have watched loved ones wage courageous battles.

“I’ve been surprised by how many people I know have been impacted by cancer,” says Strittmatter, southwest region chairman of Ryan Companies US and Banner Health Foundation board member.

He and his wife, both of whom lost their parents to cancer, are all too familiar with the devastation cancer causes. But seeing friends benefit from the protocols and treatments available at Banner MD Anderson gives them hope.

“One thing that makes this campaign so special is that none of the money raised will go toward bricks and mortar,” Strittmatter notes. “Instead, it will fund vital programs like research and personalized medicine that will benefit patients for years to come.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Graham, whose wife, Kathleen, was recently seen at Banner MD Anderson for an abnormal cell formation in a breast lump. The longtime Banner Health Foundation board member and president and CEO of Sunbelt Holdings is thankful for the expertise his wife and countless friends have received at the cancer center.

“We are so fortunate to have access to this level of cancer care right here,” he says.

Everyone Can Give Something

Such access doesn’t come without a cost, however. Graham stresses the fact that everyone can and should play a role in supporting an institution that will touch the lives of so many.

“Not everyone can or is expected to make a huge gift, but everyone can give something,” he explains.

Reaching the campaign’s $22 million goal will be no easy feat. It will require the collective contributions of an entire community – individuals, corporations and foundations.

As Larry Hayward, chairman and CEO of Leslie’s Poolmart, says, “There’s no question this is a large number, but big things come in big packages, and they often have big price tags.”

“It will take all of us, but we can do it. The mission is so genuine, and for that reason alone I’m confident we will be successful.”

To learn more about the Hope Starts Here Campaign or to inquire about giving options, contact Banner Health Foundation at (602) 747-4483 (GIVE).