News & Stories


Honoring the Memory of a Loved One Through Giving

Lena DeMeis

Lena DeMeis

Lena DeMeis loved to garden, finding happiness in nurturing her vegetables and tending to her roses.

“She gardened for as long as I can remember,” said her daughter, Karen DeMeis, of Audubon.

Lena passed away in March after battling stage 4 breast cancer, but her memory will live on in the beautiful Forman Family Tranquility Garden located at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. Lena’s daughters, Rose, Terre, Eleanor and Karen, decided to pay tribute to their mother with engraved stones, one recognizing their love for their mother and a second to recognize the love Lena received from friends and family during her battle with cancer.

“It was such a special way for my sisters and I to remember our Mom.” Karen said. “She loved to garden, and she had very good care at Cooper.”

Honor and memorial gifts are meaningful ways to support the extraordinary work at Cooper, while recognizing someone special in your life.

You can honor someone who has made a difference in your life, express gratitude to a member of your care team at Cooper and celebrate milestones or mark special occasions, such as a wedding, anniversary or birthday.

And a memorial gift is a thoughtful way to offer condolences to a friend or family member who has lost a loved one.

Gifts can be directed to programs of your choice, and there are many ways to formally recognize a loved one from dedicating an engraved stone in the Tranquility Garden to establishing a fund in their name.

Lena was 88 when she passed away, but lived each and every day to the fullest.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, the daughter of Italian immigrants, Lena was strong and determined, her daughter said.

No matter how bad she felt, she would not let her illness keep her at home on the couch.

“She wanted to get up and out,” Karen said. “She loved to go shopping, go out to eat, have a glass of wine and tell stories.”

Lena received care at both MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper in Camden and in Voorhees, where she lived, making treatment easily accessible and convenient.

“Everybody involved in her treatment was professional. All the doctors talked to each other, and any time I had a question I could just pick up the phone,” Karen said. “When you go through something like this, it is helpful to have kind support, not just support.

“Because she had good care, my mom had a good quality of life at the end,” Karen continued. “I really feel at peace now.”

To learn more about honor and memorial gifts click here or contact Jessica Hreno at 856.583.2161 or