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The one hundred honoree: Helen Kearns & Family

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Helen Kearns & Family

Mass General Giving

Helen Kearns is the widow of Patrick Kearns Sr., a Brookline police officer who became a patient of the Mass General Cancer Center in 2000, when, at age 54, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He died the following year, survived by his wife and six children. The clinicians who cared for Patrick reside in the Stephen E. and Catherine Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology.

The Kearns family benefits the center by holding the annual Patrick Kearns Sr. Memorial Golf Tournament and donating the proceeds to the Pappas Center Family Fund. Most donations from the Kearns family support the center’s weekly Caregiver Day, when medical assistants distribute gift envelopes to the loved ones who accompany a patient for a medical appointment. The envelope includes a $10 gift card to the MGH General Stores, a $5 gift certificate that can be used at any of the hospital coffee shops, a candy bar and a parking voucher for the visit. An enclosed letter from the Pappas staff thanks the family member or friend for tirelessly caring for the patient. Upon receiving this small token of appreciation, the patients’ loved ones are moved that they are being recognized. The patients are happy to see that their care-giving helpers are being acknowledged. Thanks to the generosity of the Kearns family, this popular program lifts the spirits and warms the hearts of caregivers and patients alike.