Stephen’s father passed away when he was just 18 years old. He describes his dad as his “superhero.” Watching his dad on his cancer journey caused him to “see the vulnerability of a parent for the first time.”
Stephen has taken that early experience into his work as Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at Leo Cancer Care. Leo Cancer Care creates products to deliver radiation therapy. “We’re a more human way of delivering radiation therapy,” he explains. “We’re dealing with patients. But, first and foremost, they’re human beings. We want to put that more human element into the industry.”
Stephen explains that they’re also keenly aware that cancer treatment involves the whole family, not just the person with a diagnosis. He remembers seeing a young child walking alone to a treatment room, and thinking, “There has to be a better way of doing this.”
When Leo Cancer Care moved next door to the Gilda’s clubhouse, it felt like kismet.
They knew that Gilda’s Club Madison’s mission was neatly aligned with theirs. “It’s about reducing that fear around the cancer journey,” he explains of both of our missions. He knows the importance of having a caring community of support, which is why he finds Gilda’s work so powerful. “It’s about having a network to rely on during the most difficult time in the family unit,” he continues.
Putting the human element into radiation therapy
Leo Cancer Care quickly became involved with Gilda’s Club after moving in, sponsoring the Backyard BBQ fundraiser in 2022 and 2023. He remembers being incredibly moved by the young member who spoke at Gilda’s Backyard BBQ in 2022. “I felt energized by what we’re doing as an organization,” he remembers.
In addition to financial support, Leo Cancer Care has included Gilda’s Club members on a patient advisory board. Gilda’s members have provided feedback on Leo’s product design, a rarity in the radiation therapy technology industry. “What we’ve fostered is a real focus on bringing the patient into the design of the product.” In fact, the feedback from Gilda’s members have influenced the designs of their products.
All of us at Gilda’s Club are so thankful for Leo Cancer Care partnering with us to help families reduce fear and anxiety during their cancer journey!