Compassionate care drives throat cancer caregiver to become champion for MD Anderson
As Commissioner of the Port of Houston Authority and a leader on corporate and charitable boards, Cheryl Creuzot is highly sought after for her time and expertise. For more than 15 years, she has dedicated her efforts to MD Anderson’s Board of Visitors, bringing unique insight and leadership to the institution.
Creuzot’s devotion is driven by the compassionate care she experienced when her husband, Percy, was treated at MD Anderson for a type of throat cancer called cancer of the soft palate.
From caregiver to advocate for MD Anderson
From the moment they walked through the doors, Creuzot felt there was something special about MD Anderson. “I knew it was world-renowned as the premier cancer hospital,” she says. “But I was struck by how friendly and comforting everyone was. I was greeted with smiles and a culture of positivity and hope.”
Creuzot credits MD Anderson’s uplifting, supportive culture with giving her strength and encouragement throughout her husband’s cancer treatment. Each person she met – from physicians to radiation technicians to volunteers – treated them with compassion, understanding and empathy. She cherishes the memory of a volunteer offering her a warm blanket and cup of tea in the waiting room during Percy’s surgery. “It’s the little things that make a difference,” she says. “One day, that will be me. I'll be the one giving out the heated blankets.”
Even now that Percy’s cancer is long gone, Creuzot remains an ambassador for MD Anderson and strives to ensure others experience the same support and comfort as she did. She frequently encourages refers family, friends, colleagues and even strangers to seek care at MD Anderson. “One of my greatest joys is that I can be a link to MD Anderson for a desperate, frightened family,” she says.
Championing diversity in health care through philanthropy
Creuzot says education and prevention play important roles in addressing those disparities but that diversity in the health care field is also crucial. “When I walk into MD Anderson, I see physicians and nurses and patients who are women of color. I see just about every race and culture represented in some way,” she says. As a woman of color herself, Creuzot hopes the sense of belonging, comfort and safety she feels at MD Anderson is felt by all who seek care here.
“It's an honor and a privilege for me to serve on the Board of Visitors,” she says. “I’ll serve MD Anderson for the rest of my life.”