MCDPR

Mary DeFeudis, Mass. Philanthropist Supports St. Jude's Children's Hospital

Press Release   •   Feb 12, 2010 10:53 EST

A native of Worcester and resident of Northborough, Mary DeFeudis has a long history of philanthropy and service to the Medical School and UMass Memorial, in addition to organizations throughout Central Massachusetts. Mary, who is on the Board of Trustees of Nichols College and the Board of Directors of the Worcester Chapter of the American Red Cross, and is a member of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of the United Way, spends much of her time promoting charities, with an emphasis on medical research hoping to cure cancer.  

"I've always helped St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Even when I had little money, I would send them what I could. "While wintering in Florida, I happened to see this little boy and his parents on TV, they had sold everything in order to pay for his medical care, and were now trying to raise money selling bumper stickers. He needed a brain biopsy, the doctors had given up on him and told his parents he wouldn't make it to his tenth birthday, just a couple months away. Because of his prognosis, his insurance company would not pay for the procedure, which would cost them $20,000. On the spur of the moment I picked up the phone and called the Today Show and told them I wanted to pay the $20,000. At the same time a doctor was watching the show in California and when he heard I gave the money for the biopsy, he offered to do the surgery for nothing. After a whole series of events leading to the boy's recovery, I was able to have dinner with him recently. He's doing great, he's twelve years old now, he had just been for a checkup and there's no sign of any cancer.   From the start I felt that helping this boy was something that was meant to be. It was kind of a catalyst that got me thinking more about doing things that can make an impact, so I started by making a commitment for a large sum for cancer research at UMass. Mary became involved with the UMass Memorial Foundation, and was Chairman of the Board for 2 years.

In addition to her charity work in medicine, Mary also is involved in many other things that bring joy to the residents of Worcester County, and she prides herself on helping to bring wholesome entertainment to children and families, including the Worcester Tornadoes baseball team, of which she is part owner, and the Worcester Sharks hockey team. She is a member of the board of trustees of Nichols College, the board of directors of the Worcester Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Hope Lodge. She is also an investor, and serves on the board of directors of the new Hanover Grand Palace Theater for the Performing Arts.