SALISBURY TWP., Pa. – Joe and Maureen Topper are a big part of the Lehigh Valley community.
Joe is the president and CEO of Dunne Manning Inc. and chairman of CrossAmerica Partners — both Allentown-based companies. He is also the former chair of the board of directors for PBS39 WLVT.
Now, the Topper name will be somewhere else, too, and it all has to do with a breast cancer diagnosis Maureen got seven years ago.
"Of course, no one wants to hear that they've got cancer," begins Maureen.
Maureen says she could have gone somewhere outside the area for treatment, but she felt that the Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute was the right place for her.
"Everything was handled in such a positive manner," she said, as Joe sat next to her, nodding. She added that the experience "made me as the patient feel like I was going to be okay."
Maureen and her husband were so pleased with the level of personal care she received that they have now given a generous gift to the hospital.
The money, Lehigh Valley Health Network officials say, will bring the most innovative and lifesaving clinical trials to the region, and will help with investments in cancer treatments and technologies.
And with the Topper's gift comes a name change.
Brian A. Nester, president and CEO of LVHN, announced in front of a crowd Friday, "We are honored to announce the rename of the Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute to the Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute!" The crowd cheered.
"Joe and I are very hopeful that our gift will help get the word out about the Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute and motivate and encourage others to come on board and participate in it," Maureen said, "because it's through that support and growth that this will be even bigger and better than it is."