Dealing with the loss of a loved one is a difficult and emotional time. Finding ways to remember that person now and into the future, often helps with that journey. This is true for Pam Cross, who lost her husband, Matt, to cancer earlier this year.
Pam and her family set up a memorial fund to remember Matt Cross through the Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital Foundation, with the goal of helping others who are undergoing care or treatment.
“It is important because he truly felt blessed in his life and career,” Pam said of Matt. “He was a big community person and felt the need to give back.”
That included serving on the Hospital Board for 21 years.
“He felt so grateful to be part of that,” Pam said. “He was always so excited when something new happened or the Hospital received new equipment that would in turn, improve patient care. It was an honor for him to be a part of SBA.”
Because of that, the Hospital was the perfect fit for a memorial fund for Matt.
“Matt was always out to make lives better for other people,” she said. “Going through cancer treatment is a traumatic experience and we were all so greatly blessed by the care he received during this time.
“What excites me is knowing other people are going to receive the comfort and care they maybe otherwise wouldn’t have,” Pam explained. “And it lets his legacy live on.”
At the Foundation’s recent Gala, the Matthew J. Cross Fund for Care was announced as a new fund established at the Foundation. It was established through the generous memorial contributions of family and friends and a gift made by Pam.
The fund was influenced by a program started earlier this year to provide free meals to those undergoing cancer treatment. Matt was the first person to receive this meal.
“When trying to decide what we were going to do with the money, we talked about how we could best honor Matt,” said Chase Locke, Foundation Executive Director. “For Matt to be the first person on the receiving end of that was pretty special.”
They wanted to establish something that would continue the meal program, but also serve others.
“This fund is really going to help give people a break, anywhere from continuing the meal program to providing transportation assistance,” Locke said. “You have some folks, maybe on fixed incomes or in the rural areas who can’t even make it to their appointments because they can’t afford the gas. We’re going to help with that. All those things that you shouldn’t worry about, we’re going to look at and help fund that.”
After the fund was announced at the Foundation’s annual Gala last Friday evening, people had the opportunity to donate.
“Through the generosity of our donors, we were able to raise more than $50,000 for the fund,” Locke said. “It was exciting to see the level of generosity and compassion shown by our donors to help such a worthwhile project.”
“I was totally blown away,” Pam said of the response during the Gala. “Even since that evening, I stop and catch myself thinking about it, and I just cannot get over the love that was shared that night. There are so many truly caring people out there and it way surpassed any expectation I had. My hope is for it to continue well into the future. It’s comforting to me to know he was loved by so many people.”
This is a fund people can contribute to either on a monthly or annual basis or a one-time donation. To learn more about donating, contact Chase Locke, Executive Director of SBAMH Foundation, at 316- 321-8741.