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Couple leaves $2.4M legacy gift to help young cancer patients

Bone Marrow Transplant Unit renamed in their honor
Couple leaves $2.4M legacy gift to help young cancer patients
Posted at 12:50 PM, Oct 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-11 12:51:03-04

CINCINNATI -- A Cincinnati couple left behind a lasting legacy at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center with a $2.4 million gift to young cancer patients.

The late Mary and Joseph Stern Jr. included Cincinnati Children’s in their estate plans, according to a hospital spokesperson. The Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in the new critical care building will be named in their honor.

“My parents cared deeply about this city and knew Cincinnati Children’s is one of our crown jewels,” said their son, Dr. Peter Stern.

Stern’s daughter Kim was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in 1981, when she was 11 years old, and required a bone marrow transplant. Cincinnati Children’s did not establish its Bone Marrow Transplantation Program until 1986, so the Sterns took Kim to Minnesota for treatment.

“They would be thrilled to know that families across the country now travel here -- to Cincinnati -- for the best cancer care for their children,” Stern said about his parents.

The Sterns’ granddaughter survived her battle with cancer. Stern said his parents knew the importance of high-quality medicine.

“They wanted to be a part of ensuring it for Cincinnati’s kids,” he said.

The unit will be named The Mary and Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Bone Marrow Unit, as part of the hospital’s campaign to raise $60 million from philanthropy. Money donated will be used for capital projects.

RELATED: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center No. 2 in nation for best children's hospital

The hospital was recently ranked number one for pediatric cancer care by U.S. News and World Report.