An Expression of Gratitude
WRITTEN BY NANCY STEINER
Roger Wacker credits the health center with saving the life of his wife, Angelle Grace. Burning with fever and rushed to Saint John's emergency room she was diagnosed with an E. coli infection by pulmonologist Gilbert Kuhn, Jr., MD, and treated over a two-week period by Stanton Axline, MD, a specialist in infectious disease.
Impressed and grateful for the caliber of care Angelle Grace received, the couple first chose to invest their time, energy, and knowledge at Saint John's. Roger, a managing director of a large financial services company, joined the Saint John's Health Center Foundation's board of trustees. He has since served on the board's finance and executive committees, the cardiovascular committee and the John Wayne Cancer Institute board. In January he was appointed as a health center board member. Angelle Grace, a senior vice president of NAI Capital and former owner of Paramount Leisure Industries, has been active at the hospital by being involved in the Chautauqua Weekend, Caritas Gala and the Irene Dunne Guild.
"We love the Sistersespecially Sister Maureen Craig, SCL, and Sister Therese Zimmerman, SCLand would love to see more Sisters in the hospital," Wacker says.
The couple made a generous gift to the cardiovascular program to pay for technology to support cardiac surgery. "We don't have heart problems, but we got to know the cardiovascular team under Dr. John Robertson and Dr. Peter Pelikan and are extremely impressed by their work," Wacker says.
Similarly, the couple has high regard for cancer research and the work at the John Wayne Cancer Institute. "We think the world of Dr. Steven O'Day and Dr. Lawrence Piro and pray for their continued wisdom and a cure for cancer."
The Wackers designated the cardiovascular program and cancer institute as beneficiaries of their life insurance policy. "It helps from a tax standpoint, but that's not why we give. Saint John's is in our hearts," says Wacker. "We want to be a good example to others on the importance of giving and thank God daily that we are able to do this."