“I still remember sitting in the windowless basement of the Cancer Center with my husband, Paul, while he was getting chemotherapy,” said Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree when she donated $8.2 million to begin the fundraising for a new facility this summer. “To imagine future patients enjoying warm sunlight as they look out on a canopy of trees is like a dream.”
Her husband died in 2005, but Ridley-Tree’s generous donation has geared up the Pueblo Street facility’s movement toward joining its three patient-care offices into a 54,000-square-foot building to hold the physicians, treatment rooms and equipment, and supportive services needed by cancer patients.
The Cancer Center, which merged with Sansum Clinic in 2012, treated 11,367 patients in 2014, and demographics project a 35 percent increase in cancers as boomers age over the next decade. The Center’s expected opening date of 2017 will add clinical research and staff in a Craftsman-style building and half-acre garden. The Center will remain in operation throughout the construction period.