The year before Kettering-native Jeff Mullins became an attorney, he lost his father to cancer. As he began his career at such a difficult time, Jeff found a strong support system in his mother, his wife, and his practice assistant, Pam.
When Pam was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, "It shook me to my core," Jeff says. Four years later, Jeff's wife, Mary, received the same news. "That's when I learned there are so many tough decisions to make in this process," Jeff says. "Here at Kettering Health Network, though, everyone we talked to listened to what she said and what she wanted to do. They were committed to making the right decision for her and listened to everything that she said to help formulate a treatment plan.
"When I learned that the network was building a cancer center, I knew this was something I wanted to be part of," says Jeff, who now supports Kettering Medical Center Foundation, one of the network's four foundations, as a board member and major donor.
Last year while construction of the cancer center was underway, Jeff's mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer. "What I've learned from all the waiting rooms is that there are little things that make a difference. Things like your doctors praying with you before surgery, having snacks and beverages available for family members, and being able to look outside during treatment seem small on their own, but to someone fighting for their life—for their families—collectively, they're big. They really make a difference.
"For us, it has made difficult times much less difficult. Being a part of that process has been a real blessing in my life."