Denise Molendyk has fought cancer on every front. She cared for her first husband until he passed away from complications of glioblastoma—a rare and fast-growing brain tumor.

Denise later married John Molendyk, M.D., a veteran radiation oncologist at Providence Cancer Center. While John supported hundreds of patients during cancer treatment, Denise joined the Robert W. Franz cancer leadership cabinet and became a fierce advocate for funding cancer research. Denise and John personally contributed to the campaign to build the Robert W. Franz Cancer Center in 2008.

Later that year, the unthinkable happened. John had a heart attack and passed away suddenly. On her own, Denise continues to advocate for cancer research and served eight years on the board of directors for Providence Portland Medical Foundation.

In 2021, Denise’s battle with cancer became even more personal. Despite prompt mammograms and having no family history, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Denise sought out treatment from David Page, M.D., a Providence oncologist who specializes in researching and treating breast cancer. “I knew I could count on him,” she said. “He made my journey so simple. The whole team is wonderful.”

Unfortunately, cancer treatment can affect vulnerable heart tissue. Denise was referred to the new Jack Loacker Center for Cardio-Oncology where multiple departments collaborate and monitor heart health while patients receive lifesaving cancer treatment. Denise received wrap-around care from Providence’s unique team of cardiologists, oncologists, hematologists, radiation oncologists and patient navigator.

Today Denise’s heart is strong, and her cancer is gone.

The Jack Loacker Center for Cardio-Oncology is made possible by the generosity of donors, including Denise.

Denise Molendyk