News & Stories

Cancer Care Inspires Mary Ann Todd to Leave Legacy at Cooper

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Mary Ann Todd
Trustee, The Cooper Foundation

When her mother was dying of lung cancer, Mary Ann Todd remembers seeing a wall of donors in the lobby of the hospital near her mother’s home in Delaware.

“There were so many names. I would stand there, and I wondered what their stories were. What compelled them to give back,” says the Marlton, NJ resident.

Now 26 years later, Mary Ann wants to share her own story and make her mark at Cooper. She recently pledged $30,000 to MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper as a Visionary member of the Cornerstone Society. She hopes when people see her name on the Cornerstone Society wall of the new cancer center that they feel inspired to give back.

“This wall will signify a commitment to something important. Cooper’s partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center will make a difference to so many people seeking treatment for cancer,” she explained.

For Mary Ann, the gift will also be recognized on a bench and tree in the Healing Garden and a chemo chair at the cancer center.

“I did those specifically because I wanted to honor my mother, Gloria Tridente, who died of lung cancer when she was 58, and my friend Irene Kelso, who was a big supporter of Cooper and an advocate for breast cancer awareness,” she said. “I thought it was a perfect tribute to their lives.”

Mary Ann’s gifts are a way for her to honor loved ones while at the same time support an institution that has done so much for her.

Eight years ago, Mary Ann was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a quick treatment at another cancer center, the cancer returned more advanced as it had spread to her liver. This time, Mary Ann turned to Cooper. She remembers Dr. Generosa Grana, Director, MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, lining up her medical records and setting out a plan.

“Her quick action saved my life,” Mary Ann said.

Since then, Mary Ann has been an advocate for breast cancer research and women’s health issues, volunteering her time as a member of The Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees, and co-chair of the Pink Roses Teal Magnolias and Shop for a Cure.

“I think Cooper’s partnership with MD Anderson is amazing. You’re getting a second opinion without having to go somewhere else,” she said. “There are a lot of great things happening at Cooper and I’m glad I’m part of it.”

To learn more about the Cornerstone Society and naming opportunities at MD Anderson at Cooper, visit foundation.cooperhealth.org/md-anderson-cancer-center-at-cooper or contact Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of The Cooper Foundation, at 856-963-6703 or basslevin-susan@cooperhealth.edu.