In the event of a war, you want Nancy Loeffler on your side.
Even more so if the war’s on cancer.
In 1995, when the civic and community leader from San Antonio was asked to join the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors (BOV), she jumped at the chance.
“My sister lost her husband to cancer when he was just 31. I was so … incensed by that,” she says. “I wanted to be involved.”
In 2005, Loeffler was asked to become an officer of the board, eventually serving as chair from 2009 to 2012.
In the meantime, she’d begun to see MD Anderson from a different perspective.
Diagnosed in 2007 with a rare gastrointestinal stromal tumor, she had surgery, then spent months in treatment, coming to the institution frequently for tests and scans.
“I thought I knew so much about MD Anderson — until the day I walked in as a patient,” she says. “I knew about the physicians’ skills and the wonderful research. But I didn’t know how caring the people are.”
Loeffler is proud of the philanthropic work of the BOV. And she’s grateful for other donors who’ve funded patient care initiatives — one in particular.
“During treatment, I was always chilled. The Volunteer Endowment for Patient Support furnishes blanket warmers all over the institution. I loved those warm blankets,” she laughs.
Caring, committed MD Anderson ambassadors
During the late 1950s, MD Anderson’s first full-time president, R. Lee Clark, M.D., had an idea of how to take the institution from good to great. To meet MD Anderson’s needs for growth and research funding, he invited a small number of civic and business leaders to be a resource to the cancer center.
More than 50 years later, the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors includes 259 volunteers from all over the United States. They contribute greatly to MD Anderson’s mission through fundraising, community involvement and providing counsel on crucial issues.
The first woman to chair the Board of Visitors was Nancy Loeffler of San Antonio. After serving from 2009 to 2012, she handed the reins to Harry Longwell of Dallas in the fall of 2012.
Loeffler, who calls it “a pleasure and an honor” to have served MD Anderson on the board since 1995, will finish her six-year stint as an officer in 2014.
“Then they’ll put me out to pasture,” she jokes.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Board of Visitors has spearheaded five major campaign initiatives raising $1,611,500,000 for MD Anderson.