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For twenty years the Murphy family has been sponsoring an annual golf tournament in honor of Marlene and Dick Murphy, both of whom lost their lives to cancer. Rick and Paula Murphy were once the organizers of the tournament, in recent years daughter, Brooke Fitzgerald of Cedar Rapids has taken the reigns as Board President of the Murphy Memorial Charity Golf Tournament to continue the legacy of the annual event.

Marlene was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away at age 53 in 1992. Dick fell ill to colon cancer and died of the illness in 1999. The first tournament was held in 2000 and organized by Rick’s sister Jill. Jill was diagnosed that year with the same type of breast cancer as her mom, and in 2003 when she was 40 years-old, Jill died from the disease.

From Jill’s work, and the continued involvement of the extended Murphy family, Virginia Gay Hospital Health Care Foundation in Vinton has received the 17th consecutive, very generous donation from the event. This year’s donation of $9,000 was given equally to Gifts of Hope, Virginia Gay’s program providing financial support to women in need of cancer screening and care, and to support general charity care.

In 2017, a total of 23 people received funds from Gifts of Hope. Already in 2018, 47 patients have received support from Gifts of Hope and have received $20,000 in support. Funds from Gifts of Hope are available by talking about financial concerns with your primary care provider at Virginia Gay Family Medical Clinics. Qualifying does not require an application.

To learn more about the Gifts of Hope program and how to access funds or place a donation to help others, please visit www.myvghfoundation.org/gifts-of-hope. For more information about Charity Care and financial assistance at Virginia Gay Hospital, please visit www.myvgh.org/charity-care.

Rick Murphy presents the check to VGH Administrator Mike Riege, VGH Foundation Director Robin Martin and VGH Foundation Board President Don Eells.