Until cancer took her in 2007, Andrean Gerber lived life to its fullest. A lifelong artist, after receiving her diagnosis in 2000, she spent the next seven years creating colorful collages using images cut from magazines. She held her first public exhibit in 2005 at age 85 and had four more exhibits before she passed.

Throughout her treatment, Andrean was insatiably curious. “Mom loved going to see Dr. Urba,” said her daughter Gail Johnston. “She just reveled in talking with him about the science, and he would delve into it with her and, ease her way, is how I would describe it.”

Walter J. Urba, M.D., Ph.D., director of Cancer Research at the Earle A. Chiles Research Institute at Providence Cancer Institute, was equally passionate about Andrean’s care. “A famous clinic back east said mom’s tumor was untreatable,” said Gail. “But, Dr. Urba didn’t accept that.”

Gail credits Dr. Urba’s creativity for giving her mother seven more years of life. So when Providence Willamette Falls Medical Foundation launched a campaign to create a new cancer treatment center at Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center, it was an easy decision for Gail and her husband, Eric, to give in Andrean’s honor.

“We would have loved to have this center at Willamette Falls,” said Gail. “This campaign will allow people in Clackamas County to have a treatment team like Mom’s right at Willamette Falls, close to home.”


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