A group of nearly 40 members of the 2017 Cattlemen’s Ball members convoyed to Omaha in great anticipation of seeing the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center that will open clinically in the summer of 2017.

The new center is designed to shape cancer care, research and education all under one roof.  It is no secret that I lost my Dad to Pancreatic cancer.  Having all of the patient needs under one roof would have been life changing for my Dad.  Dr. Cowan shared with the group several of the goals and desires of the all-inclusive, state of the art center.   Dr. Cowan remarked as he shared the one entrance to the building where doctors, researchers, patients and family all enter, was designed, for example to touch researchers to be immediate and aggressive in their pursuit of a cure due to them mingling hand in hand with patients and families daily, they witness and see firsthand the struggles and carnage cancer leaves.  All stakeholders are intimately involved with patient diagnosis and care.  Amazing!

The Chihuly Sanctuary was a breathtaking highlight to my day.   Artist Dale Chihuly will bring his vibrant beautiful work to patients, families and staff of the Fred & Pamela Cancer Center.    The space, I can imagine, will be a refuge where patients and families can find inspiration, comfort and calm during a turbulent, depressing time.  An atmosphere that is distinctly different from traditional hospital settings.   Research is showing the very positive effects Art can have on the healing process.  This awe-inspiring display will positively change the face of cancer through an escape for all those spending time at the Buffett Cancer Center.  This was one of many fine examples of how deeply the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center collaborative team is engaged and their efforts of extreme commitment to healing on so many levels.

The building, with all its unique display of magnitude and perfection was worth the tour itself.  We clearly are blessed to live in a state where cancer, a household name, will be part of the cure!   The people however, are what I found most moving.  Dr. Cowan, our host, whom I can imagine has a calendar that may rival the President of the United States was wonderful, forthcoming, approachable, and made each of us feel like we were part of his family.  His team, which numbered over 20, gave up their precious time and made each of us feel like our goals, fears, and hopes were their goals, fears and hopes.  I don’t know of any other place where world changing research in cancer is happening on the level that it is in Omaha with such an astute, profound, knowledgeable, and willing team that genuinely care about abolishing cancer, and while on that journey in the meantime, make those affected by this horrendous monster a bit more hopeful with people and surroundings that will be positive and hopeful.

Cindy Duncan