Donor Stories

Follow the links below to learn about some of our donors. You can also read these stories in issues of The Benevolent Voice.

Doyle And Joyce Crow

As a well-respected board-certified cardiologist with Borgess Cardiology Group, Dr. William Campbell has made a difference in the lives of many patients. For one patient, Doyle Crow, along with his wife, Joyce, this difference encouraged the very first donation to the Borgess Caring Hearts & Hands Program.

Ronald Osborne

“I was almost helpless when I came home from having heart surgery recently at Borgess,” Osborne relates. “It was frustrating, but the nurses not only provided the essential in-home health care, they went the extra mile, suggesting special support modifications to my furniture. The nurses also explained how to retrofit my bathroom and the steps into my home for safety.”

David Delach

David was transferred to Borgess-Pipp Hospital’s long-term acute care unit (LTACH) in Plainwell for further treatment. His wife, Sara, a retired teacher, praises the physicians and staff at Borgess for their diligence and dedication. “David spent almost two months in long-term care,” she recalls. “I’m his primary advocate and I am impressed with the skills and the caring attitudes of all the Borgess physicians and nurses with whom we’ve come in contact over the years.”

Henry Holland

“From the moment of check-in at Borgess Medical Center until my discharge, everything went smoothly,” he stresses. “I was cared for with kindness and never felt like just a number or a statistic. Borgess will always be my hospital of choice.”

John W. (Jack) Lawrence

John W. (Jack) Lawrence and his wife, Joanne have a long personal association with Borgess Health. Jack served first as a trustee for the DeLano Clinic beginning in 1976 and joined the Borgess Medical Center (BMC) board in 1982. His service included a stint as Chairman of the BMC board from 1987-1991. He also devoted many years of service on the Borgess Foundation board, serving until 2008, and is a Trustee Emeritus. His wife Joanne has been an active member in the Borgess Service League and the Borgess Volunteer Services for over 20 years. Their daughter, Joni Knapper currently serves as Secretary on the Borgess Medical Center Board of Trustees. “Our personal family involvement at Borgess, including Joanne’s volunteer efforts and my time spent as a trustee of both the hospital and the foundation are all parts of my life that I cherish,” Jack says.

The Lawrence family has been connected to Borgess for nearly a century. Jack’s mother, Borgia was a lifetime member of the Borgess Service League. Her father, John Wheeler, founded Wheeler-Blaney and was the construction contractor for the original Borgess Hospital building on Gull Road. Borgia’s aunt, Sr. Mary Hastings was one of the Sisters of St. Joseph (SSJ) who founded Borgess Hospital in 1889.

“I had two great aunts in the Sisters of St Joseph,” Jack notes. “Emma Hastings joined the convent the day after the original SSJ’s came from Watertown, New York to staff the newly established Borgess Hospital,” Jack notes. “She chose the name of Sister Mary and is recognized as one of the founders of the order at Nazareth. She served there for over 75 years. Her younger sibling became Sister Edward and served the order for over 60 years.”

Jack’s father,William J. Lawrence, Sr., served on an unofficial advisory board for the hospital before his sudden death in 1941. Jack’s brother, the late William Lawrence, Jr., also had an over 50-year record of service with Borgess Medical Center and the Foundation. The Lawrence family made a generous gift to Borgess that helped establish the Lawrence Education Center, named in honor of Jack and Bill’s parents.

Most recently, the Lawrences responded with a gift to the Habitat for Healing campaign, designated toward the renovation and expansion of the Borgess Medical Center Level I Emergency & Trauma Center (ETC) and the construction of the new Borgess Gardens. “Since I was serving on the Borgess Foundation Board when the campaign was being developed, it seemed a natural move to become an active part of it,” Jack states.

“In the current economic climate, most of us will consider carefully where to place our contributions and support,” he adds. “Emergency care and long-term care are both vital services in our community. With our aging population and increased lifespan, there will be an ongoing need for quality services and facilities such as Borgess Gardens.” Joanne agrees, noting that it was important to have convenient, local access to elder care services for her own parents.

The Borgess Foundation is committed to assisting local projects that will help make comprehensive health care services accessible to everyone. Their continued close association with our mission reflects Jack and Joanne’s passion for helping others. “Borgess has always been a part of our family,” Joanne stresses. “I treasure the time I spend as a volunteer in the gift shop or working on projects such as the Tree of Love campaign. I have always been blessed to be able to interact with the Borgess staff, visitors and patients in many touching and memorable ways.”

As you consider your own plans to honor or recognize someone in your life, we hope you will explore the many wonderful opportunities to leave a family legacy. Call us at (269) 226.8100. 

Julie's Fund

Julie Jarvis has a rare and little-known chronic disorder called syringomyelia; often abbreviated SM. Fluid pressure inside her spinal cord is unrelenting and building, causing chronic pain, numbness and muscle weakness. Borgess has been a partner in her efforts to cope with her condition. “We researched other medical centers and only Borgess came up with an answer,” she says.

Jarvis refuses to let her chronic pain keep her from living, or taking care of her horses at her rural Hastings home. “No matter what one is dealing with in this life you must stay positive,” says Julie, who is in her 50s. Jarvis was so moved by her care experiences at Borgess that she and her family have established a restricted fund through the Borgess Foundation, dedicated to the support of scientific and medical research on effective treatments – and perhaps a cure – for SM and other spinal cord conditions and injuries.

Julie has gracefully accepted her painful reality, but hopes that further research will lead to a brighter future for others with SM. The fund that bears her name helps support the Borgess Research Institute (BRI), which provides comprehensive and centralized research services to enable physicians and other scientists to seek improved patient care.

For more information about “Julie’s Fund,” – call (269) 226.8100.

Burt's Blessing

“Due to his lengthy illness, Burt and I relied on Borgess and made many trips to the emergency room during the last six years of his life,” Betty recalls. “It seems appropriate to use some of the resources I have been blessed with to support the current Habitat for Healing Emergency & Trauma Center project, since I understand that end of the equation. I can thank the staff and the hospital, while helping to ensure that excellent care is available for those in need.”

Caring for Carol

“Each staff person became like family to us,” Bob remembers. “They were all so kind, patient and understanding.” Since 1947, Borgess has provided a network of skilled care and encouragement that allows each person to enjoy quality of life at the end of their life. 24 hours a day, seven days per week, the team of highly trained professionals and volunteers work in tandem to provide medical, emotional, psychological and spiritual help to the terminally ill and their families.

Thanks, Gus

Along with the help of generous people just like you, the Borgess Foundation received phenomenal support from the physician campaign leadership who successfully exceeded their goals during the initial phase of the Habitat for Healing Campaign.


Consumer reports ranks Borgess Medical Center among the top 15 hospitals in the U.S. for heart bypass and valve surgeries

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the margin of excellence in
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