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Former CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP Patient Pays It Forward with Flower Donations to Mount Nittany Medical Center

Former CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP Patient Pays It Forward with Flower Donations to Mount Nittany Medical Center

John Ford, State College resident and retired science teacher from State College Area School District, recently shared his journey with cancer that led him to begin donating flowers to Mount Nittany Medical Center.

John had been living with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) for nearly a decade. In late 2019, he was pheasant hunting when he tripped on a cornstalk that snapped back and hit his eye with such force that he lost his vision for almost an hour. He went to the Emergency Department at the Medical Center where a CT scan was performed and confirmed his eye was alright, however, the lymph nodes in his neck were enlarged.

John discovered shortly thereafter that his chronic lymphocytic leukemia had transformed into non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

During the winter and spring of 2020, John received chemotherapy treatments for his non-Hodgkin lymphoma at CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP – a partnership between Mount Nittany Health and Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute – located in the Lance and Ellen Shaner Cancer Pavilion at Mount Nittany Medical Center. Thankfully, John’s scans later revealed a complete response to the treatment.

“I had the option to receive care at Johns Hopkins Medicine, Main Line Health in Philadelphia, and Mayo Clinic, but I chose to stay with Mount Nittany Health and was thoroughly pleased with the care I received,” said John. “It meant a lot to me that I could receive this level of care and expertise so close to home.”

Fast forward to roughly four months ago when John was passing the Saint Andrews Episcopal Church in State College and saw bouquets of flowers laid out on the lawn for the taking. He had an idea – he would collect the bouquets and deliver them to the Medical Center.

Now, John receives bouquet donations from Trader Joe’s and two Weis Markets in State College. At times, he receives upwards of 50-60 bouquets that are being swapped out for new in-store selections.

You may find these beautiful flowers on display in the Cafe at the Medical Center where he enjoys his lunch or dinner almost daily. He also delivers them to the main lobby at CANCER CARE PARTNERSHIP, radiation oncology, the infusion lab, and the medical treatment unit. If he has any left, he takes them to nursing homes in the area, primarily Juniper Village.

When asked what inspires him to do this, John said, “Because they make people happy.”

Please join Mount Nittany Health in thanking John and recognizing him for this continued act of kindness that brightens the days of providers, staff, patients, and visitors alike.