Benefactor Stories > Arizona Benefactors Give to Ensure Future Generations Receive Mayo Clinic Care

Arizona Benefactors Give to Ensure Future Generations Receive Mayo Clinic Care

By Colin Fly

Eds Note: Arizona. Bold. Forward. is the largest and most visionary capital expansion project in Mayo Clinic history. Watch Mayo Clinic's recent virtual event "Arizona. Bold. Forward. Building the Future of Medicine" here.  

Clyde and Sherry Moore have learned many lessons through Sherry's 21-year journey with cancer and the recent pandemic. One sticks out more than others.

"The future is uncertain," Clyde says. "But the most powerful thing we can do is help other people right now."

There's a simplicity and peace in the Moores' approach.

Simple Items, Significant Impact

An unremarkable 3-by-5 index card held by a remarkable physician.

That's what the Moores remember when they first met Craig B. Reeder, M.D., a Mayo Clinic hematologist, on Sherry's first consultation in 2005.

The card carried heavy symbolic weight for Sherry. Used to physicians carrying reams of medical records, the basic white card became a sign of simplicity on her complex path to healing.

In 2000, Sherry was diagnosed in Memphis, Tennessee, with low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma — a type of cancer that originates in the lymphatic system. In non-Hodgkin lymphoma, tumors develop from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.  

Through a series of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Sherry was on the path to remission. When the Moores retired to Arizona, Sherry’s physician in Memphis referred her to Mayo Clinic in Arizona for continued care.

But nearing her five-year remission milestone, Sherry received troubling results from routine bloodwork — she was losing red blood cells. They turned to Mayo Clinic for answers.

A Strong Start, A Twisting Path

Dr. Reeder impressed the Moores from the start by explaining the Mayo Clinic Model of Care, a set of principles that guide how Mayo Clinic practices medicine, including the collaboration of specialists from across disciplines. The Moores and Dr. Reeder also connected on a more personal level — their mutual love of dogs.  

For Sherry, a team of experts uncovered a very rare cause contributing to her deteriorating condition — her combination of medications conflicted with an over-the-counter supplement. She stopped taking the supplement and the problem resolved.   

But Sherry's cancer evolved with a series of recurrent tumors and subsequent treatments. In 2006, a scan revealed a more aggressive tumor had spread to another part of her body.

“As soon as Dr. Reeder saw that scan, he said, ‘Let's start thinking about what a stem cell transplant might do for you,’” Sherry says. “That's when he really got my attention.”

The Moores had investigated the idea of a stem cell transplant years prior but chose not to pursue it further out of fear of devastating side effects. This time, Dr. Reeder's recommendation put Sherry more at ease, and she agreed to an autologous stem cell transplant, which uses healthy blood stem cells from the patient’s body to replace their diseased or damaged bone marrow. 

Sherry's path to remission wasn't smooth. She ended up having complications before and following the stem cell transplant and spent a month at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Arizona. Looking back, there were moments of fear because of the unknown.

Ultimately, the transplant was a success, and the Moores credit the caring, competent staff at Mayo Clinic for carrying them through.

“Mayo is not only a hospital, it is actually a medical system where people put their money where their mouth is,” Clyde says. “They know what they are doing, and they are helping other people.”

Rising to meet future challenges

Arizona. Bold. Forward. is the largest and most visionary capital expansion project in Mayo Clinic history.

By 2024, Mayo Clinic will double the size of the Phoenix, Arizona, campus. Through a combination of new buildings and additions to existing structures, Arizona. Bold. Forward. will provide the necessary infrastructure to support advanced activities across the practice, research and education; to increase access for patients, accelerate new platforms for innovation; and provide more opportunities for research and education.

The project positions Mayo Clinic in Arizona to continue to lead the transformation of health care, and the recent pandemic has validated Mayo’s approach.

Arizona. Bold. Forward. will:

  • Add 150,000 square feet of dedicated and integrated research and education space.
  • Double the number of Emergency Department rooms to expand care for emergent needs of more than 75,000 people each year.
  • Accelerate virtual and telehealth solutions for people to offer greater convenience, improved access to specialists, and the ability for providers to intervene earlier so people stay healthier longer before complex or serious conditions arise.

Visionary work is happening each day at Mayo Clinic, and capital expansion is an essential part of this progress. Philanthropic investment provides the necessary support to ensure Mayo Clinic’s full vision comes to fruition and addresses unmet patient needs in new and innovative ways.

A Gracious Gift

In 2011, Sherry successfully entered remission. Upon their final visit with Dr. Reeder, Sherry brought a small parting gift — treats for his dogs — a nod to their mutual love for their furry family members.

But that was not all. Reflecting on Sherry’s cancer journey and Dr. Reeder’s care, 10 years later the Moores decided to do even more. 

Clyde and Sherry made a generous gift to Arizona. Bold. Forward. in honor of Dr. Reeder when they learned about the project's immediate impact as Mayo Clinic's largest and most visionary capital expansion in history, which remains on track despite the pandemic.

Mayo Clinic recognizes the Moores as Principal Benefactors and members of The Mayo Legacy. To honor their generosity, the lounge area in the Mayo Clinic Building on the Phoenix campus is named on behalf of Dr. Reeder's medical excellence. Each day, Dr. Reeder is reminded of Sherry, and the many grateful patients to whom he has dedicated his life’s work.

The Moores recognize that the generous investment of those who came before them made it possible for Sherry to access lifesaving treatment at Mayo Clinic. Out of that gratitude, the Moores invest in Mayo Clinic now to support greater access to care and new research capabilities to help patients like Sherry in the future.

“It is going to make such a big difference to patients,” Sherry says. “Frankly, we were impressed by the scale of Arizona. Bold. Forward. It's a huge project, and only Mayo could attempt something like this and make it work. We have confidence in Mayo, and this project will allow Mayo to help more people.”

Join us today to bring a transformative new health care experience to more patients who need us. Together, we can build the future of medicine at Mayo Clinic.

Disclaimer: The individuals featured in images were alone in an outdoor setting following social distancing guidelines, and therefore in compliance with Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 safety guidelines while unmasked.