A Place of Miracles


The Marilyn McConnell Resource Library houses literature and computers to access current research and treatment information. Outside the library, two members of the John W. Scully Volunteer Program sometimes serve “High Tea” on fine china.

On Sunday, January 24, while many around the country were snowed to a standstill, about 200 donors, family members, hospital staff and foundation representatives were moved. Sitting in the sun just outside of the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center, the crowd listened as Chaplain Mindy Serafin, Rabbi Michael Birnholz and Reverend Bob Baggott led an interdenominational dedication.

“A chaplain, a rabbi and a minister … it sounds like the beginning of a joke,” said Reverend Baggott with a laugh. “As a cancer survivor, I find myself so moved that individuals can come together to create a place like this. In some ways it allows friends and families to place those they love into the hands of the healers: the doctors and nurses, the technicians, those whom God has utilized through their talents and their gifts to work miracles in this world. Which means this is a place of miracles.”

The Scully-Welsh Cancer Center at the Indian River Medical Center is indeed miraculous. It was built on faith – not religious faith, per se, but faith in the future of health and healing in Vero Beach. It offers the best of the present: state-of-the-art technology; an affiliation with Duke Cancer Institute; the capacity for life-changing clinical trials; and a commitment to each patient’s physical, emotional and spiritual comfort. It was made possible by multiple donors, including Bill and Marlynn Scully and Pat and Carol Welsh. The two couples donated $12 million each, one half of the estimated $48 million capital campaign.

As the leading cause of death in Indian River County, cancer, which manifests in more than 200 subtypes, is a formidable foe. So the cancer center uses the most innovative equipment to fight the disease. For example, the True Beam STx Linear Accelerator – one of four in Florida – allows doctors to radiate tumors around vital organs with the utmost care. Fifty people were treated in one day with the True Beam.

Read the entire article in the March 2016 issue

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