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The Bob Simon/Loretta Anagnost Patient Assistance Fund

Patients and their families who battle cancer face significant emotional and physical impacts. Many also must cope with the effects of an overwhelming and often unexpected financial impact. The cost of cancer care can deplete a family's resources and strain their ability to cope at an already stressful time, even for those with insurance. The Bob Simon/Loretta Anagnost Patient Assistance Fund was established to provide support for families who are dealing with these challenges.

Bob & Alice Simon

Bob and Alice Simon and their young family experienced the impacts of cancer when Bob was diagnosed with lymphoma in the early 1970s. In 1990, with his cancer in remission, Bob retired, and he and Alice moved to West Winfield. When Bob was diagnosed again with cancer in 1995, they once again observed patients and their families who were in need of financial assistance. It was then that Bob and Alice decided to start a fund to help people who found themselves in financial distress during and after treatment for cancer. The Simons created a modest fund at Bassett so that money could be available for mammograms, medications, transportation and other medical necessities. Despite the care he received, Bob's cancer recurred and he passed on in 2000.

Loretta Strahm Anagnost

Loretta Strahm Anagnost was raising her children, Stephan, Sarah, and Elsie, with her husband, John, in Brooklyn, when she was first diagnosed with cancer in 1987. Given only a short time to live, Loretta was able to beat the cancer into remission with the support of her friends, family, and doctors. In 1998, Loretta and John relocated to Milford, where they opened the Brooklyn Bridge Bed & Breakfast and Antiques. In addition to running the B&B, Loretta was an active member of the Milford Rotary Club, on the board of the Milford Free Library and a member of the Milford Quilting Club. Loretta always felt warmly welcomed and supported by the Milford and greater Cooperstown community. When her cancer returned in 2001, Bassett was there to provide Loretta with the quality care she needed. She passed away in 2003 as a result of complications related to her cancer. In true spirit to her lifelong championship and love of humankind, Loretta asked that family and friends should remember her not with flowers or tears, but with a gift for those in need.

Today, dozens of donors, including Regional Cancer Program employees, support the Bob Simon/Loretta Anagnost Fund. The generosity of the community assures that patients with a cancer diagnosis who are in need will have access to care. The fund also is a living legacy of Bob and Alice Simon and Loretta Strahm Anagnost, who always will be remembered as champions for cancer patients in need.

To make a donation, please contact the Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network, the philanthropic foundation that supports Bassett Healthcare Network, at 607-547-3928, or visit the Friends website to access the secure online donations page.

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