Named Funds and Endowments

Don Lenard image

After 30 years of marriage, Cathy Leonard never thought she’d be living without her husband Don. But she is. And every day since Don passed away from colon cancer in October of 2012, she’s thought of him and how his experience might benefit others.

As you’d expect, many loved Don. He was survived by devoted children, parents, and friends who speak warmly of him. Don was known for his love of racing - a passion begun at Badger Kart Club in Dousman which included racing his formula Continental cars at Road America, Milwaukee.

The news that Don had cancer was a shock. He was asymptomatic and they had "no clue of the whirlwind" that would soon be unleashed. Doctors, biopsies, tests, ports, and more all followed. But the family was determined to fight and enlisted the help of the remarkable staff at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Clinical Cancer Center and physicians, Dr. James Thomas and Dr. T. Clark Gamblin.

Although the outcome was certainly not what they’d hoped for, the family quickly turned to honoring Don’s life. Through it all, his family remained devoted and thankful for the work of staff at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin. Cathy wanted to give back. To impact family’s like hers. Through a sizable philanthropic commitment, she established the Don Leonard Colon Cancer Fund.

The Leonard gift funds research into colorectal cancer, specifically colorectal liver metastasis, or cancer that has spread to the patient’s liver. A study by Dr. Gamblin and Dr. Thomas, "The Role of Tomato Juice in the Prevention of Chemotherapy Induced Liver Injury" is the primary focus of the fund.

Colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States and Europe. Over the last decade, great advancements have been made in treatment options for patients with colorectal liver metastasis. The utilization of natural products in the treatment of cancer has recently become an area of focus. Froedtert’s study focuses on Lycopene, an antioxidant commonly found in tomatoes, watermelons, and red grapefruit, which has been found to have protective effects against damage to the liver.

Folks who remember Don gather often to remember him. Family, friends, and co-workers join forces at "Blanket Parties" to make blankets that they plan to donate to Froedtert’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) patients and care givers. This summer Don’s family will gather at Milwaukee’s State Fair Park to celebrate his life at the Don Leonard Fun Day.

In the middle of one of many sleepless nights, Cathy began a website and blog to keep family and friends informed of Don’s progress. This remarkable website – A Wing and Your Prayers – now continues as a labor of love. Family and friends post their memories there and are now shifting their focus to paying tribute to Don and raising funds in his memory. Cathy still blogs there regularly - now sharing about her journey without Don.

Nora Sale, Vice President and Executive Director of the Froedtert Hospital Foundation, describes this gift as "a very special and personal type of philanthropy." It tells the story of a family’s "quest to help other patients, and ease the journey of others."

Named Funds and Endowments provide continuous support for programs and services at Froedtert Hospital. Gifts may be made to any of the funds listed, or a new, named fund or endowment may be created according to your wishes.

  • Mark Adams Transplant Endowment
  • Apollo Fund for Philanthropy
  • Arthur Balzer Fund
  • BAKEN Fund for Indigent Care and Nursing Education
  • Charles E. Benidt Endowment for Chaplaincy
  • Dolores Benidt Breast Cancer Fund
  • James C. Benjamin Family Fund for Brain Tumor Research
  • Gary and Krista Colpaert Fund
  • Curt and Sue Culver Fund
  • Dynacare Endowment for Community Health Education
  • Junkerman Endowment for Medical Education
  • Don Leonard Colon Cancer Fund 
  • Bobbe Petasnick Memorial Breast Cancer Fund
  • Thomas A. & Lorraine M. Rosenberg Endowment for Clinical Cancer Research
  • Charlie Runge Family Fund
  • Nora and Marc Sale Fund for Senior Health
  • Donald J.Schuenke Cancer Fellowship Endowment
  • Molly Erin Schwab Endowment
  • John B. Sendik Endowment for Neuroscience
  • Smallwood Award Fund
  • Staff Electric Company Fund
  • Steger Nursing Education Endowment Fund
  • Russell E. Story Endowment for Clinical Neuroscience
  • Russell E. Story Endowment for Nephrology and Urology
  • Mazie Froedtert Willms & Sue Froedtert Cancer Fellowship Endowment

We will be happy to discuss creating or supporting a fund or endowment.  Please contact Alice Archabal, Vice President & Chief Development Officer or Katie Sparks, Major Gifts Officer at 414-805-2699.


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