A Family Tradition of Service Inspires Giving

Ron Wardwell’s commitment to City of Hope builds on an established family history of service. Ron, his father and his brother all served their country in the military — his father in World War II and Ron and his brother during the Vietnam era.

After leaving the service, Ron continued his commitment to helping others by choosing both a career and volunteer opportunities that furthered his passion to serve. While earning a living providing security at the Huntington Library, he spent his spare time as a volunteer firefighter.

He also volunteered at the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center on the City of Hope campus. He still does so, even after his own diagnosis of cancer of the head and neck. After almost two years of treatment at City of Hope, which included many rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, Ron has been cancer free for seven years.

Ron continues to volunteer at the Biller Patient and Family Resource Center, working with new patients. “I know that feeling of being overwhelmed when you’re first diagnosed,” he says, “so I try to identify the City of Hope resources that will help them the most. And sometimes all I do is sit and chat with patients and families.”

Ron adds, “One of the most consistent things I hear from our new patients is how different City of Hope is from every other institution they’ve had contact with. They are impressed that volunteers and staff take the time to listen and understand what they need.”

Ron couldn’t agree more that City of Hope is a special place. That’s why he’s made a bequest in his will to City of Hope, so that the institution can thrive for generations to come. “It wasn’t a hard decision,” Ron says. “I see what a tremendous resource the Biller Center is. And when I learned that the center relies in part on grant funding, it dawned on me that I could help.

“Each person comes to the Biller Center with a different need, question or concern,” says Ron. “No matter the need, the Biller Center and City of Hope are there to meet it. I hope my gift can play a role in making sure those needs can be met for future patients.”