BEND, Ore. - St. Charles Cancer Center announced Monday the naming of its new medical oncology wing to honor former Crook County resident, grandmother and philanthropist Margaret Schwab Denton in appreciation of a $1 million gift from her family and Les Schwab Tire Centers.
"We are deeply grateful to the Les Schwab family for their charitable spirit and the confidence they have shown in St. Charles," said Lisa Dobey, executive director of the St. Charles Foundation.
"Their gift, combined with the generosity of our entire community, enables us to build a cancer center that for generations to come will provide the highest standards of care and best outcomes for people facing cancer."
The Les Schwab Medical Oncology Wing, in honor of Margaret Schwab Denton, is named in memory of Denton — one of two children born to Les and Dorothy Schwab — who died Sept. 8, 2005, at the age of 53 after a two-year fight with colon cancer.
Denton was taught by her parents to care deeply for her family and community; people were drawn to her kindness and her grace, but also to her passion to make change.
She sat on the board of directors of Les Schwab Tire Centers. She also helped start the Prineville branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Central Oregon and served on the board of the Perrin Foundation, a trust that awards college scholarships to students pursuing careers in business.
Even as she battled cancer, Denton recognized the benefits of being near family in a comfortable environment while receiving care. It was important to Denton that she be able to enjoy her grandchildren while she underwent treatment.
Les Schwab Tire Centers' donation in her name will make a new caliber of care available for Central and Eastern Oregonians while they, too, stay close to home, St. Charles Health System officials said.
"It was important to my mother to remain close to her family throughout her treatment. The new St. Charles Cancer Center gives hundreds of local cancer patients that opportunity," said Leslie Tuftin, Denton's daughter. "Making this new oncology wing a reality would make her proud. Les Schwab Tire Centers is pleased to make this contribution to our community in her honor."
With the Les Schwab family gift — the lead gift in the cancer center campaign — the St. Charles Foundation has reached the halfway point in its $5.7 million fundraising effort. All of the money will go toward the estimated $12.9 million expansion and integration of the St. Charles Cancer Center.
Designed from the ground up with patient, family, staff and community input, the 16,000-square-foot facility will focus on taking a true patient-centric approach to treatment with everything—oncology, radiology and complementary therapies—housed under one roof.
"Building an integrated cancer center where patients receive all of the care and services they need in one location is a crucial step toward improving the health of our community," said Dr. Linyee Chang, medical director of the St. Charles Cancer Center. "Cancer care starts with community education, screenings, diagnosis, treatment, recovery and long-term survivorship. This facility encompasses it all."