Supporting the mind, body and spirit of cancer patients


When 68-year-old Scottsdale resident Joan Rowton was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago, she wasn’t completely surprised. Because of a strong history of cancer in her family, she was aware that she was at greater risk of developing the disease. In fact, Joan was the last of her seven siblings to receive a cancer diagnosis.

Her fight for her life led the Chicago native to the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at HonorHealth. Patients here have access to a powerful combination of leading-edge clinical trials, top physicians, advanced technology and caring, compassionate professionals—all in a single, convenient location with a calming environment.

“They were so nice to me, from the front door to surgery,” Joan said of her initial experience at the center.

Though she expected to receive excellent treatment from her doctors and nurses, she was amazed at the additional level of support she received, from nutrition counseling and exercise classes to expert prosthetic bra fittings and spa services.

“It’s the whole package — they support your whole lifestyle,” she said. “They don’t stop helping. They’re always asking, ‘Is there anything I can do for you?' ”

Today, Joan’s not letting cancer hold her back. Her treatment is going well, and she’s living life to the fullest. Nicknamed Wonder Woman by the center staff, she enjoys her favorite activities, including hiking, biking, bowling, quilting and photography. She’s also giving back to the community by volunteering to teach craft classes to other cancer patients at the center.

“I came through the storm,” she said of her cancer battle, “and I want to use something I’m passionate about to help other cancer survivors.”

Support from donors in the community helps make the exceptional level of care at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center possible so patients like Joan can enjoy improved outcomes and quality of life. Without the center, “I don’t think I’d be as happy as I am now,” she said. “Life has changed, and life is good.”

You can make a difference in the lives of patients at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center by donating online.