Family Affair

Dr. Janice Lyons and family

Philanthropy has become a way of life for Dr. Janice Lyons and her family.
From left: Michael, David, Jonathan and Janice Lyons

As Director of Breast Services in the Department of Radiation Oncology at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, Janice Lyons, MD, meets incredible women every day. Diagnosed with breast cancer, these inspirational women manage their disease with courage and grace, she says. “They drive me to be better and it is because of them that patient care is my passion.”

A simple act of charity by Dr. Lyons inspired her and family to give to others as a way of life. Here is Dr. Lyons’ story:

“Our patients are not the only ones impacted by cancer. Their loved ones struggle alongside them, often enduring financial challenges. Several years ago, with this in mind, my husband, Michael, and I adopted the family of a cancer patient for the holidays. The father was too sick to work and, subsequently, unable to provide for his children. One of the items they needed – a mattress for their toddler – struck a chord with us. That day, we disassembled a race car bed that our own son had outgrown and Michael delivered it to the patient’s home.

“That experience was eye-opening, especially for our two boys. They learned a life lesson that continues to guide them today: Any family, even our own, could quickly find themselves in a similar situation and in need of support. Since then, the kindness and compassion they have for others has only grown. They build care packages for the homeless and have requested donations for the animal shelter in lieu of birthday gifts.

“Last year, our sons, David and Jonathan, inspired our family to help establish the Smiling Eyes Fund at UH Seidman Cancer Center through the Discover the Difference Physician & Employee Campaign to offer assistance to the families of cancer patients. Our boys have no direct ties to cancer, but they saw they can help families that do. They moved us as a family to want to make a difference.”

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