Saint Francis Foundation

A letter from Carol B. Martin

Twenty three years ago my husband, John Martin, was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor. Although John was operated on, we learned that this is a type of cancer that cannot be completely removed. Following the surgery, John received chemotherapy and for a short while, was in remission. Regrettably, John died thirteen months after his cancer was discovered.

Those thirteen months meant a great deal to the family. Our children, who were in their twenties and early thirties, were able to spend time with their dad and let him know how much they loved him (which had not always been expressed in their teenage years.) And he was also there to tell us how much he cared for us. We had so much love and support from our extended family, friends, colleagues at work and from Aetna, where John worked.

The staff at Saint Francis where he went every week was wonderful and made treatment as comfortable as possible. Of course, it was a difficult year but surprisingly it was also filled with many good moments and lasting memories.

As we drove to the Hospital through Hartford, John would look around and comment, “How lucky we are to have the emotional and financial support necessary to see us through this hardship. Others are not so fortunate.” Consequently, when he died, we established a special fund in John's memory to help those who have needs above just those of the illness itself. John would be so happy to know that this fund exists and grateful to all who have donated to it. It also means a lot to our family that in some small way we are able to help someone else with this disease.