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The one hundred honoree: Maryellen Denning

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Maryellen Denning

Mass General Giving

Maryellen Denning, 66, is a wife, mother, grandmother, retired educator and an odds-defying survivor of stage III lung cancer.

Maryellen began her battle with cancer not long after enduring another harrowing medical condition. Diagnosed with two brain aneurysms in late 1996, she underwent two complex neurosurgical procedures at Mass General.

Four years later, back at Mass General, she faced a cancer diagnosis with a 15 percent chance of survival. Summoning her strength, faith and courage, and buoyed by the support and love of family and friends, Maryellen again entrusted her care to Mass General.

With boundless confidence in her caregivers at the Mass General Cancer Center, Maryellen underwent radiation, chemotherapy and a right-lung lobectomy. A decade later, she remains free of cancer.

Maryellen gratefully gives back to the community of caregivers who saved her life, both as a volunteer and as a generous donor. She assists staff in the chemotherapy infusion unit and counsels newly diagnosed patients by phone for the American Lung Cancer Alliance. The strength she drew upon during her own ordeal is now an asset to others.