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The one hundred honoree: Rosemarie Murphy

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Rosemarie Murphy

Mass General Giving

Rose Murphy beat the odds. Although more than 95% of patients with pancreatic cancer die within five years, Rose is surviving and thriving 13 years after a diagnosis of stage III pancreatic cancer. A nurse by training, Rose just knew something was wrong and went to see her primary care physician at the first sign of symptoms — one of the many factors that helped save her life.

Rose traveled to Mass General from her home in Albany, New York and underwent a Whipple procedure, performed by Carlos Fernández-del Castillo, MD, director of the Pancreatic Surgery Program and co-director of the Tucker Gosnell Center for Gastrointestinal Cancers at Mass General. Her operation was then followed by aggressive chemotherapy and radiation.

After six years of follow-up, Rose was discharged from Mass General and began to return to a normal life. But she didn’t take her health for granted. In 2008, Rose launched Golf for Gateway, now called Cure Cancer, and has raised more than $250,000 to support cancer research for Gateway for Cancer Research and the Mass General Cancer Center.

Her fundraising efforts raise awareness for the lack of funding for cancer research and the importance of early detection, and bring together survivors and supporters in her new home in Naples, Florida. The groundbreaking research funded through Rose’s hard work and advocacy means more patients can receive innovative care and achieve the same health that Rose enjoys today. Rose shares, “As a nurse, I know how extremely lucky I was to survive. I was compelled to give back and bring that same sense of hope to others with this dreadful disease.”