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Stories: Al

Healing through helping others

Al Ross knows all too well that cancer doesn’t discriminate. He felt this firsthand when his son, Donald, was diagnosed with bone cancer at just 17 years old. Al was shocked and devastated by the news. How could someone so young be facing such a serious illness?

Over the next eight years, Al and his wife, Helen, saw their son graduate from high school and attend college. They celebrated with Donald when his cancer went into remission—twice. And they beamed with joy when Donald wed his sweetheart, Stacy.

To his very last days, Donald lived life to the fullest.

In 1990, the Ross family established the Donald A. Ross Memorial Endowment to provide financial assistance to patients undergoing cancer treatment at Swedish. Though Helen has since passed away, Al continues the philanthropic legacy they started by contributing annual gifts to the endowment and including Swedish in his will.

“Helping patients with cancer has been a wonderful way to honor Donald’s spirit of hope and caring,” says Al. “Giving back to Swedish has also helped our family’s healing process, and lets us show our lasting appreciation for the care he received from Dr. Kaplan, Dr. Zorn and others.”

Forever grateful for the care Donald received and the gift of time with his son, Al has been giving to Swedish every year for nearly three decades to honor his son’s memory. His enduring loyalty recently led to his induction into the Turner Society, a special community of donors who have supported Swedish for 25 consecutive years.

Al’s extraordinary generosity ensures that other patients like Donald have access to the best cancer care possible—today and in the future.