An area project to help breast cancer patients got a big boost Tuesday.
A local family has donated $1 million to help build a comprehensive breast center at the Bristol Regional Medical Center.
It was a celebration Tuesday morning as construction will soon get underway on the Leonard Family Comprehensive Breast Center at Bristol Regional Medical Center. "I can't tell you the amount of emotion that's going through right now, just because this is something we've envisioned for a long time. It's something we've all worked diligently toward," said Dr. Sue Prill, a Wellmont Oncologist.
The goal is to create a multi-faceted breast center so patients only have to go to one place for care. "For this to be a place where it's all comprehensive and they can get complete care in one location at Bristol Regional is just a blessing," said Robin North. Robin North's father, Bristol, Virginia businessman and philanthropist Frank Leonard donated a million dollars to help make this happen.
His wife Jackie is fighting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The gift is to honor her. "This has been an on-going battle with my mom and cancer for the past five years," said North.
As for the breast center, it will offer screening and diagnostic mammograms, bone density testing, and offices for medical oncologists, therapists, nurses and counselors and more. "There's so many aspects of what we need to do and to get all of that coordinated and together sometimes could be very difficult, and it's frustrating to go through that, so what we want to be able to do is offer that as a team," said Dr. Prill.
Frank Leonard's family said they hope his donation will mean a bright future for those fighting for their lives. "It's not just about our family, and it's not about the blessings my dad and mom have bestowed upon the community, It's what we're hopefully leaving as a legacy to help just so many others," North said.
News 5 found out the total cost of the Leonard Family Comprehensive Breast Center is expected to be $1.5 million dollars. It will be located on the first floor at Bristol Regional Medical Center's west entrance, and the goal for completion is April of 2013.