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Doctor's partnership with family leads to $100,000 gift

Dana Robertson Finley had a unique patient experience with Seth Lerner, M.D., a specialist and professor at Baylor College of Medicine’s Scott Department of Urology. Dr. Lerner discovered that she had been misdiagnosed with bladder cancer and saved her from unnecessary tests and treatment. She was so grateful that she began donations to his program and when she died years later, at age 92, she remembered the College in a bequest of $100,000.

“A doctor’s relationship with his patients relies on trust,” said Dr. Lerner who holds the Beth and Dave Swalm Chair in Urologic Oncology at Baylor College of Medicine. “If you have a good relationship, then bad news is easier, treatment can be more effective and good news...well, that’s wonderful.”

Mrs. Finley’s son, Daniel R. Finley, said his mother told the story frequently. “She felt like he saved her a lot of painful tests and concern,” Mr. Finley said recently.

Dr. Lerner has seen exciting growth and productivity in bladder cancer research in recent years including significant progress in translational research of Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) in bladder cancer.

A formal collaboration also has been established with the Cancer Genome Atlas program at the National Cancer Institute with the first set of bladder tumors submitted for analysis. Baylor College of Medicine is part of a larger network that will map the bladder cancer genome and make all of the information publicly available for researchers around the world. This will accelerate the pace of research and lead to new discoveries about the causes and treatment of bladder cancer.

The mission of the Scott Department of Urology is to serve society as a pre-eminent academic urology department by providing compassionate state-of-the-art patient care, comprehensive medical education and an outstanding program of biomedical research.

If you are interested in making a gift to support bladder cancer research at Baylor College of Medicine, please contact Senior Director of Development Kirsten Schachter at (713) 798-4067 or kirstens@bcm.edu. If you would like to make a Planned Gift to Baylor College of Medicine, please contact Meredith McCrory at (713) 798-9135 or mmccrory@bcm.edu.