News

#GivingTuesday 2021

#GivingTuesday, November 30, 2021, is an international day of giving. This year, we are pleased to share that we have two generous sponsors partnering with us for our annual #GivingTuesday events. Stockman Bank and My Viola have both partnered with us to bring a special and unique #GivingTuesday experience. Stockman Bank has pledged a matching grant up to $2,500 and My Viola is matching all flower arrangement costs.

This year, if you donate $50 or more to the Legacy Foundation for #GivingTuesday, we will hand deliver (Great Falls addresses only) a flower arrangement from My Viola with a personalized card, (donor’s choice of inscription) hand-written by a calligraphist. The donor and recipient (nominated person and/or company) will also be recognized in our annual report. Donors can be anonymous if they choose. The delivery location must be within the city limits of Great Falls, MT. To participate, please fill out the required information below. Donations must be received on or before November 30, 2021 to qualify.

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My Viola bouquet

If you donate $49 or less to the Legacy Foundation for #GivingTuesday, the donor and nominated person will still be recognized in our annual report (must be more than $10). The donor and recipient (nominated person and/or company) will both receive a notification in the mail. Donors can be anonymous if they choose. To participate, please fill out the required information below. Donations must be received on or before November 30, 2021 to qualify.

Donations must be received on or before November 30, 2021 to qualify.

To participate in this fun event and join the cause, CLICK HERE!

For more information, please call (406) 216-8057 or email Audrey Phillips at audrey.phillips@gfclinic.com

Patient of the Month: David Berg

My name is Linda Berg. I am from Gilbert, Arizona, but I came to Great Falls with my father to offer support throughout his treatment. My father was diagnosed at the age of 86. He had fallen and broken his wrist and ribs, but while getting an X-ray on his ribs the Doctors found a tumor in his lung. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and lymphatic cancer in the chest cavity. His treatment entails five days of radiation and one day of chemo each week. My father lives 2 ½ hours from Great Falls, this would mean a 5 hour commute six days a week. The Legacy has been a blessing. It was very convenient and peaceful.

Linda and David Berg
Pictured: Linda with her father, David

There are so many people I need. It is amazing the generosity of those that provide a safe place for patients in a time of uncertainty. The burden of cancer is enough so to have the financial burden lifted is a great relief. We are very grateful. 

Donor of the Month: Kari Smith

September’s Donor of the Month is Kari Smith! Kari is the Environment of Care coordinator at the Great Falls Clinic for nearly a year. She is originally from Stanford, MT, but now lives in Great falls with her husband, Zach, and two kids, Kane, and Kaleigh. Kari heard about the Legacy Foundation from working at the Great Falls Clinic. She started donating monthly in March of 2021, but even before that she participated in our fundraisers and bought flowers from our flower shop, My Viola. She has not attended a fundraiser yet but is very excited to attend the 2021 Gala coming up in October.

Kari Smith Family
Kari with her husband Zach, and two children Kane, and Kaleigh

When asked what inspires her to donate Kari said, “The word ‘cancer’ isn’t a stranger to me. My grandpa passed away a little over 25 years ago from cancer, my mom had her own battle with cancer 10 years ago, and several other friends have been affected by cancer. It’s been one of the easiest decisions for me to start donating to the Legacy Foundation knowing that it will be helping several individuals and families for years.”

Some final thoughts Kari shared, “What I enjoy most about giving to the Legacy Foundation is that I know it will be providing individuals and families from surrounding areas a place of comfort during their courageous battles. I know the Legacy Foundation would have been used by my mom if it was around 10 years ago.”

Volunteers Wanted!

Do you want to give back to a cause that will serve the people around you? Come join us and volunteer at the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation! We would love to work with you to help welcome patients who are traveling here for treatment.

Ways you can help:

  1. Laundry – just sheets and towels, but we would love to have some volunteers help us get laundry washed.
  2. Baking – Do you have a talent for baking? We would love to have you help us!
  3. Clerical – Help check in patients and run the Foundation from our side! We would love your help.

Have another strength that you think would be a real asset to our team? Let us know! Please reach out to the front desk at (406) 216-8057 or by email at cassandra.jones@gfclinic.com.

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A Donor and Patient: Meet Craig and Janis Ulrich

Hello, my name is Craig Ulrich. My wife Janis and I are from Conrad, Montana. I travel to Great Falls, MT to receive cancer treatment. This is the fifth time I have been diagnosed with cancer. Most recently, I was diagnosed with bronchial cancer, but I have also been treated for lung cancer, colon cancer, and cancer in my arm, and skin cancer. I started treatment for my most recent diagnosis on July 6th, and am due to finish treatment on August 20th. My treatment consist of radiation and chemotherapy. When I have radiation, my appointments last around 45 minutes. When I am having chemo and radiation together, my treatment lasts 3 to 4 hours. I drive to Great Falls every day for treatment.

Image of Mr. Ulrich
Pictured: Craig Ulrich

I have had the best experience with the Oncology Staff at the Great Falls Clinic. They care about their patients deeply, and are committed to an individual level of care that I value tremendously. From the receptionist at the front desk, to my scheduler, to the oncology nurses and providers, you can tell that their focus and priority is patient care. Cancer treatment is not enjoyable, but they do their best to make it the best experience I can have.

It was the level of personal care I received at the Great Falls Clinic Oncology Department that made me and my wife’s decision to donate easy. We wanted to donate to the Legacy Foundation to honor their efforts and dedication. I know how a job can get to you over the course of time. I also know how well patients will be treated here, which made me and my wife’s decision to donate easy. The staff here have not let their job make them jaded to their patient’s needs. 

Donor of the Month: Scott Wilson from Cascade Electric!

Meet our donor of the month, Scott Wilson, owner of Cascade Electric! Scott lives in Great Falls, and his family has been involved with the community for several years. He owns and works at the Cascade Electric Company in Great Falls. In 1924, Scott’s grandfather worked for the Smith Family, who previously owned Cascade Electric. In 1984 his family became owners of Cascade Electric.

Logo of Cascade Electric

Scott first heard of the Legacy Foundation through a good contractor friend, Ed Venetz (president of the Foundation Board). In 2019, he attended a fundraiser the Foundation hosted at the University of Providence. When asked why Scott was passionate about the Legacy Foundation, he replied, “I remember when the Clinic was downtown. My childhood physician was a Clinic doctor. I always went to the Clinic, and when I needed surgery 20 years ago, I went to the Clinic and had a great experience.” Scott shared, “It was an easy decision for us to believe in the Foundation and its mission. It is vital to Great Falls and Central Montana.”

The Importance of Support by Anonymous

I am an oncology patient at Great Falls Clinic. I live in the hi-line area, which means my round trip commute for cancer care is 120 miles. I received my diagnosis around January 15, 2021 when I was 63 years old. My treatment began around March 1, 2021 and ended April 9, 2021. I then had a follow-up surgery at about 6 weeks at a place that does Esophagectomies. The oncologists at the Great Falls Clinic helped us navigate the decision making process. I cannot say enough about the efficient and courteous support staff in the Oncology Department. My follow up appointments were scheduled before I left the Clinic, which was very convenient for me.

Picture representing anonymous

Traveling was a chore. Fortunately, I had a supportive family to help with driving. We stayed in Great Falls at motels on six different nights during the two months I had of chemo and radiation. Two times we stayed in a motel due to the roads being bad, and the other four times were due to early morning appointments. Thankfully, my family travels often and had motel vouchers that they shared with us.

During my treatment, we watched the housing unit being built for patients who travel to Great Falls for treatment. It was fun to watch the daily construction progress. I understand it will open soon. This facility will be a great support for future patients. We were offered a reduced rate at a local motel through the Great Falls Clinic during treatment since the housing facility was not available. It would have been nice to have somewhere close to where my doctors were, and I am happy for future patients of the Great Falls Clinic.

Donor of the Month: Sara Murphy

Meet our June donor of the month, Sara Murphy! Sara lives in Great Falls with her husband Tracy. She first heard about the Great Falls Clinic Legacy Foundation while working at her job at the Great Falls Clinic as a DEXTA Tech. She first started donating via payroll deduction, and loved the simplicity of it. She started donating in March 2020, and has continued supporting the Foundation since!

Image of Sara and Tracy Murphy
Image of Sara and Tracy Murphy

While Sara hasn’t been able to attend a fundraiser yet, she is hosting a virtual event for the Foundation from June 21st through the 28th. She is hosting a Pampered Chef fundraiser that will support the furnishing of the communal kitchen in the Harold & Carmen Poulsen Legacy Housing facility.

When asked what she enjoys the most about the Legacy Foundation, Sara answered, “I enjoy watching the construction, seeing the building take shape and knowing how it will impact so many!” Sara also shared a little about why she donates, “Everyone needs to feel helped when they are going through any type of medical experience. I have lived with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia for six years, nothing can make this more personal. I am a proud employee of the Great Falls Clinic and love the support we offer our patients.” 

Healthy Again – by Marianne Burleigh

My name is Marianne Burleigh. My hometown is Lewistown, MT. In 2020, I was received a medical diagnosis that necessitated my stay in Great Falls for 17 days. Great Falls is an hour and a half away from my hometown, and I knew I would not be able to drive back and forth every day. I had to go to the Clinic once a day for 17 days, but my treatment was only on the weekdays, which meant I ended up staying in Great Falls for over three weeks considering that extra time added for the weekend.

Image of supportive hands

Because the Foundation did not have its own housing facility at that time, I stayed at the Great Falls Inn. Unfortunately, I was only allowed to stay during the week, and had to find my own housing during the weekend. I was able to stay with a friend, but would have preferred only staying in one place for my treatment. With the new facility, I know that is something I will be able to do.

When I first received my diagnosis, I was distressed. I did not know what the next steps would be, and felt so alone. Fortunately, I heard through Tina Rabbitt, the social worker at the Great Falls Clinic Cancer Center, about the Legacy Foundation, and it was good to know that I had an affordable option available to me, and that my housing would be secure for the duration of my treatment. The staff at the Great Falls Inn and the nurses in Oncology were very nice to me. Now I am healthy again.

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