Donor Spotlight: Cinda Lucas


Cinda LucasIt’s not uncommon for grateful patients to maintain a connection with the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center after being treated by the center’s outstanding healthcare team. It’s less common to find grateful strangers like Cinda K. Lucas, whose involvement with Moores began with a phone conversation in 1983 with Dr. Mark Green, the soon-to-be executive director of the cancer center. “I called him to ask about malignant melanoma for my husband Marshall who was being treated at Sloan Kettering.” Cinda and Marshall lived bi-coastally at the time, and she questioned the direction his East Coast doctors were taking.

“A friend introduced me to Mark Green. He took the time to talk about treatment options, and I could ask him things like, what do you think about meditation? Or guided imagery? He said try everything.” After two or three such conversations, Cinda told him she wanted to give back to the center, so he forwarded her name to Anne and Bill Otterson, co-presidents of the board and passionate champions of the institution. Thirty-some years later, “Moores can’t get rid of me, even if they’re tired of me!” To prove it, Cinda has generously named UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center in her will.

This addition to her legacy at Moores follows years of dedication as a cancer center board member, board chair and committee volunteer who has witnessed decades of remarkable accomplishment and growth. The milestones she has celebrated include the center’s designation as a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center; she has helped raise funds for the current state-of-the-art facilities; and she advocates for Moores’ incredible researchers and clinicians and their rapidly evolving innovations in cancer treatment and care. (“I brought [Dr.] Barbara Parker to a Rotary meeting last year, and Christine Zoumas, MS, RD, to my breakfast club this morning!”)

Most of all, Cinda delights in bringing people together with Moores – from friends and family who need medical help to people who want to help medicine. She especially likes when things click, such as the time she told a board member that the Healthy Eating Kitchen at Moores needed two Veg-O-Matics, and voila! They appeared. “People are generous and caring, and each person on that board has had their own experience with cancer and knows how a simple, inexpensive thing can make such a difference at a place like Moores.”

Though she’s lost people she cares about to cancer, such as Marshall, she knows many others who have fought it successfully. “UC San Diego has done a lot for me and my friends,” says Cinda, “so I want to take care of UC San Diego. I like being involved in something that is growing and getting better and better at changing people’s lives.”

Cinda likes to say that, “UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center is where the hope happens.”