Louise Stagnaro is both a generous donor and dedicated volunteer. She first turned to our caregivers more than 60 years ago for her healthcare needs — as a patient when she had her tonsils removed and later where both of her children were born in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s and now as a supporter – both volunteer and donor. It was the beginning of a long and lasting relationship for Louise Stagnaro and her family.
“Seton is a special place to my family and me,” says Louise as she reflects on the past six decades. “They care about their patients. They practice professional ethics, help the poor and no matter what the problem, they treat everybody with respect.”
Louise was first a patient at Mary’s Help Hospital in San Francisco and that’s where her children were born before Daughters of Charity relocated Mary’s Help Hospital to Daly City and renamed it Seton Medical Center in the 1960’s.
“My husband Ray received his care here at Seton in Daly City before dying of cancer several years ago. I’ve always been connected with Seton in one way or another, but my interest really peaked when my husband was diagnosed with cancer and we spent every day here for eight weeks during his treatment. We really got to know everyone here. Dr. Barry Chauser, Dr. Meiwen Wu and the staff in The Cancer Care Center are amazing,” Louise said with a smile on her face.
When Ray passed away in 2006, Louise’s relationship with Seton Medical Center had changed forever – she was no longer just a patient, she was a member of the Seton family and rightfully joined the ranks of caregivers by volunteering her time to the Oncology Department.
“I like to be helpful to people it’s a rewarding experience and they help me more than I help them. I suppose that’s the beauty of giving to others – you never know what you will get in return,” Louise added. “The doctors and nurses of Seton have given so much to me and my family over the years helping care for us during our time of need. And donors and volunteers who have helped build this hospital and establish programs like the Seton Cancer Institute, have touched my life by helping make this hospital possible. It’s strange to think that people you’ve never met can have such a profound impact on you.”
While Louise’s volunteer hours and financial support have been mostly to the Seton Cancer Institute in memory of her husband Ray, Louise has never lost sight of what makes Seton Medical Center so special. “We help the poor and it’s important to give to and care about others. Fortunately for our entire community that’s a lesson many people learned long before many of us and Seton is proof of that.”
More than six decades have passed since Louise first connected with our ministry. Her first experiences were as a patient, then as mother and wife of our patients, and now volunteer and benefactor. But no matter what her role, she has never forgotten the most important lesson she has learned over the years: “We must never lose sight of working together – when I think about Seton’s future knowing that someday, someone else will take my place here, it makes me feel great to know Seton will continue on with a new hospital, new programs, new life saving techniques, new staff, and most importantly – new patients to care for .”