A Journey of Hope

osf healthcare foundation

Presented by Lanna Scannell, CFRE, Director of Strategic Philanthropy, OSF HealthCare Foundation

Violet Spengler was just 4 years old when she was diagnosed with cancer. Her mother, Mary, recalls she had no symptoms, other than a minor fever that went away but kept coming back. On her way out the door for an appointment one day, Mary said she gave Violet a hug goodbye and felt a lump on her daughter’s side that she hadn’t felt before. Violet’s family doctor sent them to OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois, where they confirmed a tumor.

“It’s hard for me to even think back on that day,” said Mary. “They told us that the type of cancer she had was treatable and often curable, but it was so scary.”

The tumor had taken up most of Violet’s left kidney and there was a tiny spot on her liver. Doctors were able to remove most of the tumor with surgery, but since it was also in the liver it was considered stage 4 and a higher chemotherapy regimen was required. Violet typically had chemo one-to-two days a week for seven months, but at one point had treatments five days in a row.

“That was a very difficult part of the journey,” Mary remembers. “No parent ever wants to see their child go through that and feel so helpless and out of control. You want to tell your child it will be OK, but it’s so hard when you don’t know that. You’re not sure of anything. We just had to focus on the good news and small wins we received along the way. We were able to do all her treatments on an outpatient basis so she could go home at the end of every day, and we were so fortunate to have all of her care provided locally at OSF Children’s Hospital.”

Violet finished her treatment in June 2020 and is considered cancer free. Mary said she won’t be considered cured until scans come back clear five years out, but doctors have said her prognosis is very good.

Children like Violet are why we work so hard at the OSF HealthCare Foundation to help people who wish to support this life-affirming Ministry through philanthropic gifts. Every gift brings hope to those we serve. Planned gifts, given through a person’s Will or estate, are especially meaningful and are a wonderful way to support Children’s Hospital, as well as other areas within the OSF HealthCare Ministry. With your support, we can change lives.

At OSF, we strive to serve you through the resources of Legacy of Hope, the planned giving program for OSF HealthCare Foundation. Resources available at osflegacyofhope.org offer ideas that can bring benefit to you, your loved ones and the charities most meaningful to you, like OSF HealthCare.

For more information about supporting OSF HealthCare with a legacy gift for the future, please visit osflegacyofhope.org or contact Lanna Scannell, CFRE, Director of Strategic Philanthropy, at the OSF HealthCare Foundation, at (309) 566-5662 or [email protected].


For additional informative and inspirational articles, visit 50 Plus News and Views Greater Peoria Area online edition today.

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