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Helping Cancer Patients Beat the Odds

Patricia McInerney“Pat had such a vast love of life,” Nancy Henry remarks about her late sister, Pat McInerney. “She had a childlike wonder and so many talents and passions, ranging from needlepoint to taking a class in Oxford, England. More than anything, she strived to beat cancer. She insisted on travelling from her home on Cape Cod to Brigham and Women’s Hospital so she could get the best care possible.”

Months after Pat’s surgery at BWH, the family received devastating news her cancer had spread. Raphael Bueno, MD, BWH’s chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery, connected her to a clinical trial for a potentially life-saving therapy, but Pat passed away just days before she could start it. At her side were both Nancy and their younger sister, Joan Trifoso.

“We saw her relationship with Dr. Bueno and how he provided hope when most others wouldn’t,” says Nancy. “But Pat was also realistic. She knew if she didn’t make it, the most important thing she could do was help future patients have a fighting chance.”

In her will, Pat generously made a $200,000 gift to BWH to advance Bueno’s research and treatment for esophageal cancer.

“This field needs immediate support and can’t wait,” Nancy says. “We are just comforted to know her gift will make an impact in some way.”