Meet Our Founder, Fred, And His Wonderful Wife, Susan
Susan and Fred Flynn were living an idyllic life with their family. In 2010, Susan was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer and everything changed….
Susan Flynn was an extraordinary woman: a devoted and loving wife, a wonderful mother, a successful business woman, and an active community volunteer. A dynamic woman of many talents, she also had a passion for horticulture and was a master gardener.
In 2010, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer. She fought a courageous battle for nearly three years. By 2013, the combined effects of chemotherapy treatments, chronic pain, and extreme exhaustion took a severe toll on Susan.
Dedication, Skill, And Compassion: How Two Skilled Caregivers Made A Major Impact
In 2013, Fred and his family explored palliative care services for Susan. He met Dr. Donna Colletti, the Palliative Care Director at Greenwich Hospital, through a family friend. Donna’s extraordinary compassion, extensive medical expertise, and comforting interpersonal skills made a profound impact on Susan as well as Fred and his family
After a brief stay at Greenwich Hospital, Fred arranged for Susan to return home under Donna’s medical care with the assistance of an extraordinary hospice-trained nurse named Linda Kurfehs. Thanks to their combined caregiving skills, compassion, and spirituality, Susan’s last days were filled with dignity and love. She passed away peacefully at home in the company of her loving family on May 8, 2013, at the age of 61.
Fred Honors Susan’s Memory By Creating The Flynn Foundation
After Susan passed away, Fred was inspired to support the work of Dr. Coletti and her Palliative Care team at Greenwich Hospital that made such a difference in the last month of Susan’s life. His passion and personal advocacy enabled him to raise over $140,000 for the benefit of the Palliative Care department at Greenwich Hospital. But that was not enough. He wanted to influence real change in the treatment of cancer patients, as well as in the skills of the nurses who support them. The Flynn Foundation was born.
Since 2013, Fred and his Flynn Foundation have honored Susan’s memory through their dedication and tireless efforts to bridge the gap between cancer patients and much-needed, more skilled and compassionate Oncology Nurses.
“Donna and I were sitting in her office when I described my plan to her, which included fundraising, advocacy of the value of her palliative care services, and creating a fellowship program at Greenwich Hospital to develop future Oncology Nurses. I never imagined that what began as a small “memorial” program with 2 nursing students in 2014 at Greenwich Hospital would expand so rapidly and broadly” said Fred.
Since 2014 the Flynn Foundation has produced 300 Flynn Fellows and of the 250 in the workforce so far, over 165 are already working as Oncology Nurses.