Giving stories

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Small gestures make a big difference

Small acts of kindness can make a big difference when people are most vulnerable. Brian and Dana Martodam learned firsthand how such acts can renew the spirit when a kind gesture came from someone they did not know during an extremely challenging period in their lives. 

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Memorial fund fulfills a final wish in a life well lived

Many people reach a certain age or stage in life when they begin to think about a bucket list. That was not the case for Marsha Buchok, who died in May from breast cancer at age 64. Instead of a bucket list, Marsha had what she called “a bucket full of living.”

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New gene sequencer will change the course of cancer treatment

New DNA sequencing technology at Virginia Piper Cancer Institute® will help cancer specialists provide more targeted therapies for patients. Cancer experts believe that using genetic information to match each patient with the therapies that work best for him or her will lead to significant advances in cancer treatment. The technology purchase was made possible by The Piper Family Fund. 


Improving cardiovascular care, one download at at time

Mark Ebeling, RN, is the person behind a popular mobile app that is helping care providers have 24/7 access to the latest protocols and guidelines on treating heart attacks and other cardiovascular emergencies. The mobile app was made possible through a $10,000 Clinical Innovation Grant from the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation. Ebeling believed the app would be a convenient way to get the latest heart attack treatment protocols and guidelines to the network of regional hospitals and providers who work closely with the Minneapolis Heart Institute® to care for their cardiovascular patients. Within a few months of its release in October 2016, it had already exceeded all expectations. 

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When serious illness takes over a life, LifeCourse™ offers hope

In the two years since Michael Bischoff was diagnosed with brain cancer, there have been times of overwhelming worry and stress. One he recalls vividly is when he was told that the tumor had returned after his initial phase of treatment. Since then, he’s been introduced to LifeCourse, an innovative approach to late life care. It has made a difference in how he lives day to day and how he thinks about his medical care.


Don a pink boa and donate for breast cancer 

What does a pink feather boa have to do with a 66-year-old grandmother, chef, cook book author and world traveler? For Carmela Tursi Hobbins, it’s become a call to action among her family and friends to raise awareness about breast cancer. Hobbins was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2012.


Mr. Erickson, you are having a heart attack

Baby aspirin. Three shots of morphine. An oxygen mask. The emergency room doctor leaning in close and saying very calmly, “Mr. Erickson, you are having a heart attack.” And within 14 minutes, an ambulance transfer to Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Fortunately for Erickson, he was at the hospital that set a national standard for treating cardiovascular emergencies. Within 10 minutes of his arrival, doctors were opening one blocked artery using angioplasty. 

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Grief, gratitude and giving: A young family’s legacy

When a life is measured in hours, not years, each moment is significant. The moments that Benita Bjorgo and Joe Van Sloun shared with their son, Aaron, before he died are among their most cherished memories. They were shaped in part by the sensitivity and compassion the couple observed in the nurses and doctors at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Donating to Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation is one way the couple chose to express their gratitude.

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Years of worry end in one visit to the ED

By the time Rosemary Petersen arrived at Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Emergency Department, she had begun to think that doctors would never find the cause of her problem. 


Through scholarships, a nurse’s dedication lives on

Scott Becker lost his wife, Jane, to cancer decades ago, just as she was starting her career as a nurse at Abbott Northwestern. In the difficult months following her death, Becker made a decision that helps others advance in the profession that Jane loved. He established the Jane Wachtler Becker fund through the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation to provide scholarship funds for nurses to continue their education.