The Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center recently received a $50,000 endowment from Oconee County residents Tom and Sara Cooney, who share a history with the facility’s services.
The endowment has been designated for the production of the Loran Smith Center’s newsletter, which provides helpful information, news and stories to readers. Tom Cooney has been writing the stories for the newsletter for nearly 10 years. A cancer survivor, Cooney’s connection to the Loran Smith Center stems further.
Treated with prostate cancer in June 2007, Cooney began attending the Loran Smith Center’s monthly luncheons, where cancer patients and their family members have access to free informational seminars connecting them to others going through similar experiences with cancer.
“Once I was treated for prostate cancer, everything was very positive for me,” said Cooney professor emeritus in mathematics education at the University of Georgia. “At these luncheons, I saw and met people who were much less fortunate than me, but talking with them, I became quite impressed with everyone’s positive reactions to the center.”
It was then that Cooney and his wife Sara decided to help.
After his recovery, the couple began to help at the center by volunteering to drive patients without transportation to and from their cancer treatments. Not long after, Tom began to write for the center’s monthly newsletter, telling the stories of people in the community facing cancer.
“It’s humbling to sit with people battling cancer and hear their stories,” Cooney said. “I’m a strong believer in what the Loran Smith Center is doing and we decided to gift this endowment because of that. Some cancer patients don’t need a lot of help, but others do. For those that do, the center does an outstanding job providing a foundation both in education about their disease and tools to assist with their recovery.”
The Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support at Piedmont Athens Regional offers free guidance to cancer patients and their families by providing informational, educational, emotional and spiritual support, serving as a resource for patients before, during and after cancer treatments.
For more information about the services offered, visit athenshealth.org/loransmithcenter.