A legacy given in love will benefit tomorrow’s patients

“She and I were one. What they did for her, they did for me.”

The appreciation is evident in Jack Gorham’s voice when he talks about the “angelic” way Upstate University Hospital physicians, nurses, physician assistants and other staff treated his wife Colleen throughout her 17-year journey with cancer.

That gratitude is why Jack decided to look again at his estate plans and include the Upstate Foundation in his will. He is a proud member of the Upstate Legacy Society.

Jack and Colleen were overwhelmed by the compassion of the Upstate team, particularly in the radiation oncology department. Over the years, she was treated for three different cancers, beginning with breast cancer. Then a diagnosis of skin cancer led to radiation treatment over her entire body. When she contracted throat cancer a few years later, the radiation treatment had to be handled differently because she had already had so much exposure. 

Jack describes Colleen as “tough as nails.” They traveled to Upstate twice a day for a month for radiation therapy. As she came out of her 60th treatment, the physicians and staff gave Colleen a standing ovation for her courage and bravery.

Colleen was cured of all cancers but was claimed by a heart attack in 2000 at the age of 69. Since then, Jack has been a consistent and generous donor to Upstate, including naming two infusion stations in the new Cancer Center in tribute to his beloved Colleen and their family.

Ultimately, he wants to see the continuation of Upstate’s commitment to a caring approach to treatment of cancer patients. His plan for a legacy gift will help to ensure that.


For more information about ways to create your own personal Legacy, contact your financial advisor or call the Upstate Foundation, 315-464-4416.