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The Gene Gillis Fund

Healing and helping others

Gene Gillis always told his daughter Dana, “If you are fortunate in your life and able to give back, then it is important that you do.” Giving back is exactly what Dana Gillis is doing, through the establishment of the Gene Gillis Fund at the Payson Center for Cancer Care to honor her father’s memory.

Dana lost her father to cancer in October 1999 and still is very emotional when she speaks of his passing. She was able to spend time with her father through his final days, which were filled with many special moments and important conversations. Dana recalls one such conversation when her father sat with her and her brother and encouraged them to strive for a meaningful life. He said “Live in the moment and make yourself happy in life. Being happy is important and giving will always make you happy.”

After her father’s death, Dana suffered in grief and sadness, but her father’s words lingered. She realized that she needed to cope with grief through self-discovery and heal by finding a way to bring happiness back to her life.

When a close friend developed cancer, Dana wanted to help him. Remembering her father sharing with her how meaningful “the little things” were that people did for him while in hospice, and what a difference those efforts made, Dana decided to establish the Gene Gillis Fund at the Payson Center for Cancer Care.

The Gene Gillis Fund was officially established in 2005 and specifically supports out-of-pocket expenses for Payson Center patients in need. Examples include transportation costs, prescription expenses, nutritional supplement expenses, and any other items that enhance the quality of life for people with cancer.

As Dana reflects back on her journey she shares “I believe my father would be really proud that I understood the lessons he taught me and that I established this fund to help others.”


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250 Pleasant Street Concord NH 03301 Phone (603) 225-2711 Direct VP (866) 349-2790