Inspired by his wife’s memory and impressed with the care at Children’s Hospital Central California, Norman Jansen of Fresno gifted $250,000 to benefit the Hospital’s Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program.
Jansen, 94, made the donation in honor of his wife, Vivian Jansen, of 38 years and a registered nurse who died of leukemia in 2009.
“Cancer is a debilitating disease at any age, but especially for children,” said Jansen, a World War II veteran who owned Norman Jansen Auto Repair for nearly 45 years. “We need to do what we can to improve treatment and help childhood cancer survivors have the healthiest life after cancer.”
The gift will improve childhood cancer survivors’ quality of life by helping to educate, empower and prepare them for adulthood by maintaining their health as best as possible. The program offers patients ongoing health management and follow-up, diagnostic testing and an individualized action plan. Participants also discuss their future academic or career plans and learn strategies for success.
About 300 childhood cancer survivors participate in the program every year. However, an estimated 1,000 childhood cancer survivors will need annual services, most of which are unfunded.
Jansen’s gift boosts the $4 million goal established for the survivorship endowment. The endowment will increase staffing to extend care for survivors to age 30 and cover other program costs, enabling Children’s to continue helping childhood cancer survivors for generations to come.
“Norman’s gift is and will continue to be a lasting testament in honor of Vivian," said Jim Miller, Foundation vice president and chief development officer, Children’s Hospital. "An endowment gift of this magnitude will provide critical resources each and every year for this world-class program benefiting hundreds of children annually."
Jansen’s caregiver from Interim HealthCare initially brought him to the Hospital’s Craycroft Cancer Center, a leading pediatric cancer facility on the West Coast that provides the Valley’s only pediatric cancer services. Jansen already felt a connection with Children’s where his wife volunteered for years when it was in Fresno. Amazed by the high-quality pediatric care, after his visit he did not hesitate to make the generous contribution.
“This is a wonderful cause,” said Jansen, admiring his new donor star at the Center. “My wife would have wanted it and this honors her memory.”
“To survive cancer is heroic,” continued Jansen, the grandson of Jesse Jansen who built the Reedley Opera House in 1903. “Anything we can do toward research and to help these kids have a better life, I’m thrilled to be a part of.”
To help childhood cancer survivors live happier, healthier lives, give to the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Endowment by contacting the Children’s Hospital Central California Foundation at (559) 353-7100 or Foundation@ChildrensCentralCal.org, or log onto its website.