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2018 Fall/Winter Highlights of Hope

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PURPLE COMMUNITY

PURPLE COMMUNITY LACROSSE DADS SUPPORT RESEARCH AND CHECK CANCER When Paul Anglim’s son James began playing lacrosse in sixth-grade, his wife, Kelly, was battling through a difficult fight with breast cancer. Throughout it all, she made it a point to attend as many of James’ games as she could. She loved sports, treasured being there for her kids and was driven by a powerful force Anglim calls her “warrior spirit.” In 2013, Kelly lost her fight with breast cancer, but her warrior spirit lives on in Paul and their three children. Beating cancer is a cause close to Anglim’s heart. He knows what it means to lose a loved one to this devastating disease, and this understanding is what motivated him to take action and give back. In 2018, along with co-chair Brian Dickerson, Anglim and two committees of dedicated parents helped plan and organize a Purple Community lacrosse game between two West Michigan high schools that raised more than ,000 to benefit cancer research at Van Andel Research Institute (VARI). Anglim and Dickerson have sons in the lacrosse program at Grandville High School, and they both wanted to do something with the team that would support those living with and affected by cancer. Working with another committee at Rockford High School, the parents brought athletes, their families and their community together for a day that wasn’t just about winning and losing — it was about making a difference in people’s lives. “James is the youngest of my three children, and he saw his two older sisters get the opportunity to cheer or play for their mom multiple times in high school,” Anglim said. “When his coach asked if we would be involved, James and I said we would work on the game together. This was the first time James had the opportunity to play in honor of his mom. I was glad this game benefitted VARI, because Kelly and I both believed that the Institute might one day develop a cure for cancer.” Faith and generosity Dickerson, whose son was a varsity player on Grandville’s lacrosse team, decided to be a co-chair on the committee in order to give back and raise funds to benefit the Institute’s mission. Like Anglim, he is proud to have been a part of an event that is so meaningful to people who have been affected by cancer. “The Purple Community game is an opportunity for me, as a member of the Grandville lacrosse program, to do something good for the community,” Dickerson said. “We have a really good, solid group of kids who understand that it’s important to be involved with something like this. They know they’re here to make a difference and have a positive impact on society.” Dickerson and Anglim helped make sure the event was a success, and the two busy fathers worked long hours doing everything from getting event sponsors and planning the game schedule to arranging concessions, procuring t-shirts and getting specialty jerseys made for the teams. It was a true labor of love, and Dickerson believes their work ethic and dedication came from a higher place. (LEFT) BRIAN & DEVIN DICKERSON; (RIGHT) EMILY, JAMES & PAUL ANGLIM. “I think West Michigan’s generous spirit and desire to help people comes from a deep sense of faith and spirituality,” Dickerson said. The game gave both men the chance to bond with their sons over a shared mission, remember loved ones lost to cancer, and place a bright light on the idea that great things can happen when good people work together. “My son and I are both very happy that our community provided so much support for this game,” Anglim said. “Cancer has directly impacted our family in the loss of Kelly, and it has greatly impacted the Grandville family in the loss of our principal, Chris Vanderslice. This game provided a memorable way for us to have a lasting impact in the fight against cancer.” If you are interested in hosting a Purple Community game at your school, please contact Ashley Owen at ashley.owen@vai.org. 22 | VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE

PHILANTHROPY Duke Suwyn — A Sense of Hope One love, one moment in time that happens by chance, can give a person the ability to see the world in a new way. When Duke Suwyn first met his wife Sue at a Church function, his world opened up and he was never the same. Suwyn, a self-described country boy, grew up on a family farm in the lush Michigan countryside. Sue was from Chicago — the city of big shoulders — and was filled with ambition, drive and determination. “The first time I saw her, I knew she was unlike anyone I’d ever met,” Suwyn said.” She was extremely talented, gregarious and full of life. And from that moment on, she was my mentor, coach and my teammate.” Sue and Duke got married, started a family, built successful careers and discovered their love for giving back to their community. Together, they were active in their children’s school, Ada Christian, and guided by a deep faith, they served on the school’s various foundations and boards. Through their philanthropic work, they met David and Carol Van Andel, who also volunteered and gave of their time and talent to benefit the school. “They are two real-life angels,” Suwyn said. “They were some of the most hardworking, focused, visionary people I’d ever met. They didn’t just come with ideas — they really rolled up their sleeves and helped us improve the school for the better.” Impressed by the Van Andels’ generosity, the Suwyns decided to get involved with Van Andel Institute and soon became some of the Institute’s most ardent advocates and donors. “We were both very passionate about the cancer and disease research and the Institute’s mission, and even though we had limited resources, we found ways to give of our time and build awareness about what an incredible gift this Institute is to our community,” Suwyn said. With a good deal of encouragement from Sue, Duke pursued a career in commercial real estate and became an executive with Colliers International. In his leadership position, he encouraged the company to focus a portion of their charitable giving on the Institute in support of disease research. The gift, totaling more than 0,000, provided Institute scientists with the funds to facilitate research into rare childhood diseases. “As far as philanthropy, we fight way out of our weight class here in Grand Rapids,” Suwyn said. “In this city, we really benefit from the leadership of some visionary families in our community, and there’s a feeling that we need to continue what people like the Van Andels have started and keep that ball rolling.” In 2016, Suwyn’s connection to the Institute became extraordinarily personal when Sue was diagnosed with an aggressive form of glioblastoma multiform brain cancer. Suddenly, and without warning, the woman who gave his life meaning was facing an incredible battle. “When Sue was diagnosed, we knew we needed help, and we felt fortunate to live in a community where we have these great hospitals and research centers right here in our city,” Suwyn said. “The facilities on the Medical Mile are just amazing, and when you go into these places, you don’t go in there thinking negatively, you go in with such a sense of hope.” During this difficult time, both Sue and Duke were comforted with the idea that the Institute’s scientists were working on new treatments that might one day help others affected by cancer. Sue passed away in August 2017, and one of her last wishes was that memorial gifts be given to the two organizations that were held closest to her heart. DUKE SUWYN “As far as philanthropy, we fight way out of our weight class here in Grand Rapids.” - Duke Suwyn “There were two places Sue wanted people to think about when they thought of her — Ada Christian and Van Andel Institute,” Suwyn said. “When you see the passion that the Institute’s scientists have for their work, and you know that these scientists are going to work every day for the benefit of other people, you really can’t help but fall in love with this place.” Interested in learning more about the Society of Hope and planned giving at VAI? Visit vai. org/society-hope or vai.org/plannedgiving or contact Teresa Reid at teresa.reid@vai.org. VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE | 23

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