First In Line For Virginia Mason

When the pandemic hit, Virginia Mason’s team rushed to the frontlines to help fight COVID-19. And when the government mandate required stopping some hospital services, it created a huge financial gap. Thankfully, our incredible community of donors was there for us — including Susan Brown, who made a generous matching gift to this year’s Dreambuilders event.

“This has been such a crazy year, it felt very important to donate,” she says.

Susan has been part of Virginia Mason’s community for decades: She has been a patient since 1964 and became a volunteer and donor when her husband Farrell was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the early 2000s.

“My husband was so well cared for,” she says. “Dr. Vincent Picozzi gave me four more years with him. I’m so grateful and I want to help return some of that care.”

Susan has made several generous donations to Virginia Mason’s pancreatic cancer program, fueling research and early diagnostics. She also included the program in her estate plans.

“It’s just a horrible disease,” she says. “When Farrell was diagnosed, the survival rate was about 6 percent. Now it's up to 10 percent because of research advances. There’s still a long way to go, but I’m proud that my gifts helped do that.”

Susan has long given back to her community through volunteering, first serving several local organizations when she and Farrell lived on a boat in Ketchikan, Alaska. Here in Seattle, she has given countless hours of her time to Virginia Mason, volunteering in the infusion center, Metro services, and at many events.

“Anything they need a volunteer for, I’m in line,” she says. “Swirl, Dreambuilders, the Boeing Classic. It’s always fun and I like doing something to give back to Virginia Mason.”

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