Philanthropy in Action

Tyler Zepp's difficult-to-diagnose heart condition nearly cost him his senior year of high school football—and his life. Hear how community donations for a state-of-the-art CT scanner led to his successful treatment at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento.

Philanthropy Changes Lives

During 2011, Sutter Health received more than $70 million in contributions from generous donors. Of that sum, $10,000 came from Lori Walker, a patient who was so grateful for the cancer treatment services she received at a Sutter-affiliated care center that she organized a personal fundraiser.

If you would like to learn more about our funding initiatives, including how you can further support excellent health care in your community, please visit our Ways to Give section of our main website. You may also reach us by phone at 916-286-6826 or by email at

Barb Silver and Lori Walker

Women's Health Resource Center founder and caregiver Barb Silver (left) waited at the finish line for Lori Walker (right) to complete a grueling 14-hour fundraising bike ride—just two days after Lori received chemotherapy for ovarian cancer.

Patient Bicycles 100 Miles, Raises $10,000

Event supported CPMC's Women's Health Resource Center

Last summer, 39-year-old *Lori Walker rode her bike 100 miles in one of Northern California's most challenging cycling events—the Marin Century. That's impressive, but especially so when you know she made the ride just two days after receiving chemotherapy for ovarian cancer.

It took Lori nearly 14 hours to finish, but she says one thought kept her going: I may have cancer, but I'm out here doing this like everyone else.

Although the Marin Century is not a charity event, Lori turned her ride into a fundraiser for the Women's Health Resource Center at Sutter-affiliated California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC). It was there she had received warm and loving support during her recovery from multiple cancer surgeries plus ongoing chemotherapy. Because of the care she received—and the strong relationship she developed with Barb Silver, the center's nurse practitioner and founder—Lori wanted to do something to repay their kindness.

The fact that many services at the center are free led her to organize the fundraiser. "I did it to help other women like me," Lori says. "But I also wanted to make people aware that the center depends on charitable contributions to provide its services." By the day of the ride, she'd gathered pledges exceeding $10,000.

She informally dubbed the trek her Ride for Barb, and when Barb Silver heard about the idea, she cried. "For Lori to ride 100 miles just two days after getting a chemo treatment is amazing. She's a wonderful woman, and I love her."

The center offers a wide range of services, including personal and family counseling, acupuncture, massage, yoga, nutritional advice, social services, support groups, and consultations for wigs, skin care and makeup. The center—and Barb in particular—also offers help understanding complicated medical advice.

"Barb helped me decipher medical information and made sure I understood my options and knew what questions to ask my doctors," says Lori. "You can't get this kind of support anywhere else, not even from your family."

*Lori Walker, 1972-2012
"After a courageous three-year battle with ovarian cancer, Lori died in late October 2012. Though she was off chemotherapy for only four months during that time, she succeeded in living life to the fullest. She fell in love, travelled nationally and internationally, cooked dinners for her great friends, went to many concerts and rode her bike as much as possible. She was a special patient and I will miss her dearly."

Barb Silver, NP
Women's Health Resource Center