News & Stories


Featured Donor: Bryan Butler

Sue and Bryan Butler sitting next to the dedicated bench in the Forman Family Tranquility Garden at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.

Bryan Butler wanted to do something special to honor his wife, Sue, and show his appreciation for all she has done over their 37 years together.

Sue has been a nurse at Cooper since 1987 and eight years ago was treated at Cooper for breast cancer.

So when Bryan learned of the opportunity to dedicate a bench in the Forman Family Tranquility Garden at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper to Sue, it seemed like the perfect gift.

“I wanted to donate to Cooper because they have been very good to Sue,” said Bryan. “She works extremely hard and is a great wife and mother. I’m so lucky to have her.”

Sue said she had no idea what her husband was up to until out-of-the-blue one day he told her: “I got you a bench.”

“It was a total surprise,” Sue said. “The garden is so beautiful, and a wonderful place where patients and families can go to get away from the reality of their diagnosis for a while and gather strength. I gave my husband a big hug and kiss.”

Sue got her start in nursing as a Navy nurse at the Long Beach Naval Hospital. Bryan was stationed nearby at the Marine Corps Air Station El Toro where he was a C-130 Marine pilot. The two met at the El Toro Officers Club one evening and married three years later.

Today, they live in West Deptford and have four daughters, two of whom – Brittany and Alyson – followed in their mothers’ footsteps and are nurses at Cooper.

Their oldest daughter, Cassandra, has her doctorate in physical therapy and works in Baltimore and the youngest, Eryne, is a nurse at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania.

“We’re very proud of them,” said Sue. “Though my husband would have liked one of them to be a pilot,” she joked.

Sue works on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Cooper, where she is never without a friendly smile and fresh bag of popcorn to share with anyone who happens to walk by.

“She puts her heart and soul into Cooper and into everything she does,” Bryan said. “It’s impossible for me to thank her enough.”

The Forman Family Tranquility Garden at MD Anderson Cooper is a scenic, rooftop garden designated to allow nature to enhance the healing process. The garden serves as a retreat meant to bring joy, comfort and peace to patients and families.

For more information about naming opportunities in the garden, including inscriptions on pavers, chairs, benches and other garden features, click here.