Adventist Health Sonora | Health Living | Winter 2020 • Healthy Living  7 Your dollars make a difference close to home The Sonora community helped build the Diana J. White Cancer Institute. But its generosity hasn’t stopped there. Through the Cancer Patient Support Fund, the community continues to help people with cancer pay for utilities, food, gas, transportation and other expenses. So far the fund has helped provide $1.5 million in support directly to cancer patients in the community. “We use every dollar of what we raise for that fund to help lower stress and anxiety and reduce treatment barriers for cancer patients,” says Shane Tipton, F.N.P., P.A.-C., director of the Diana J. White Cancer Institute. With the main fundraiser postponed due to COVID-19 for now, community support will be more important than ever. You can donate to the Cancer Patient Support Fund by going to . Or call the Philanthropy Department at 536-5022 . •  The staff has grown from 18 to 40. •  The number of new patients seen annually has roughly doubled, from about 350 to more than 600. “We’ve also become a nationally certified cancer center,” says Tipton. “There’s only a dozen or so of those in California.” A community that cares It’s a huge benefit to the community to have a world-class cancer center in its midst. And the community has been hugely supportive in return. “You usually have to go to cancer centers in big cities serving 200,000 or more people to find this level of service,” Tipton says. “To bring that to this community is unprecedented. I’ve toured many other cancer centers, and you typically don’t see this with the kind of population we have.” Tipton acknowledges the major role the community played in building the Cancer Institute. “There was huge community involvement,” he says. “There’s a big donor wall where you enter the Institute with the names of all the people who donated, and there’s a lot of names up there. People here feel very connected and care about what we do. It’s very much a community hospital,” he says. And he knows that support will be a big help to the next director. “I’m OK relinquishing the role, knowing that whoever is going to come in here is going to step into a sailing ship that’s running really well. “I do love this place. And I’ll continue to love it as I go back into patient care.”