It's the little things that make a huge difference in the daily lives of people undergoing cancer treatment.
At the Janet Sue Mason Foundation, we are here to help.
While the large national organizations seek a cure for cancer we help those affected by cancer in their personal fight.
Through your generous donations we are able to bring necessities to Treatment Facilities. With clinic budgets slashed the foundation has come to the aid of the patient, providing those little things which help them heal.
- pillows & blankets for treatment centers
- snacks & drinks for treatment time
- personal DVD players and movies to watch
- taxi voucher system for transportation
- holiday decorations in the treatment facilities
- audio books
- magazine subscriptions
- support of local preforming arts initiatives who, in turn, volunteer their time and talents for foundation related events
- support of local early detection clinics & mobile mammography labs
- early detection brochures and information
If you see a special need in your community please contact us and we will find a way to help.
* while our focus will always be on breast cancer patients and families of those in treatment, we will never exclude patients of the other forms of cancer from enjoying our efforts.
In order to have the talent to create or perform art, you have to have a sensitivity, creativity and strength to leave the mainstream and follow your heart. While the cancer programs of the Foundation seek to preserve life, the programs for the
Arts seek to enrich life.
It all started when the decision was made to have a string quartet from the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts, perform at Sue’s Celebration of Life. An immediate affinity formed with the Foundation wanting to help their students, and the Academy wanting to help our programs. As a result, we now are working together to expand the opportunities for Academy Students, and the Academy provides fund raising opportunities for the Foundation. The Foundation has commissioned a Symphony by noted composer Jeremy Woolstenhulme.
This work, entitled "Symphony for Sue," is scheduled for its premier performance in Summer 2011. The initial performance will provide a major fund raising event for the Foundation. With the funds raised from this and other events, the Foundation will be expanding its assistance to cancer clinics as well as music camp scholarships to deserving performers, underwriting Drama and Dance performances, and working with High School Art, Theatre, Music and Choral departments in small communities across the country. Follow our web site as these exciting events become scheduled. Let your School Board know about us, we can provide much needed help for these often neglected areas in your school’s curriculum.
Sue, born July 12, 1947 was raised in the small rural community of Arkansas City, Kansas. She graduated from Arkansas City High School in 1965. Sue, being a creative spirit, set her sights on a career in the arts. She followed her dreams to New York where she studied ballet, jazz and interpretive dance. She was accepted as a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Company and performed with the company for 4 years. While pursuing her dance career Sue completed her degree in Philosophy from Hunter College of the City University of New York.
Recognizing the physical demands of a professional dance career would limit her future, Sue sought
alternatives which would allow her to remain involved in the arts she loved so much. In the fall of
1978 she entered Washburn University School of Law with the intention of returning to New York to
represent artists in their business and legal matters. Graduating with a Juris Doctorate Degree in 1981
she was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Kansas and to the Federal District Courts. Her
plans of returning to New York were not to be, as in 1981, she met Michael Beckner and a life-long
romance began. They married at Tortola, British Virgin Islands in 1984, and remained a loving and
devoted couple until her last breath.
Cancer entered Sue's life in January 2001. With her typical determination she began her battle with the
disease and succeeded in fighting it into submission on no less than five occasions. With her “magician
physician,” Dr. Heather Allen and the exceptionally skilled professional staff of the Comprehensive
Cancer Clinics of Nevada, Sue maintained an active life giving hope, strength and courage to all who
knew her. She frequently amazed even her physician with her commitment to beating the odds and
winning against breast cancer.
Sue is survived by her husband, Michael and her sister Jill Roberts of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In
addition to her immediate family, dozens of, brother and sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins
miss her deeply. Sue’s circle of friends and colleagues represents a truly impressive number, giving testament to the ready smile, open heart and helping hand which were her trademarks.
Knowing her time might be limited, Sue sought to find her mission. Cancer was an unwelcomed visitor, but like
other adversities she had faced, she faced this deadly intruder. She strongly believed things happened for a reason. To those of us who knew and loved her we could see no reason why this wonderful woman should be stricken by such a dreaded and deadly disease. But Sue never wasted a heartbeat on the question "why me?"
Still, she questioned her purpose for being. Should she go to Africa and help treat the sick? Should
she become an activist for causes she felt just? Should she join political efforts to overcome world
hunger or to advance human rights? The answer to her quest for meaning eluded her until one afternoon in 2005.
A work colleague came to her and told her that her doctors had discovered a suspicious lump during her
annual checkup. She was understandably concerned and would follow up with appropriate treatment. She then told Sue that over the last five years she had watched the courage, strength and
hope Sue had displayed and it made her less afraid.
Sue then understood her mission. To ease fear in another’s life is to give them an enormous
gift…..the gift of hope. For the rest of her days Sue sought to comfort those who feared Breast
Cancer, to encourage them to take the appropriate steps to discover and to treat the disease. And,
perhaps most importantly, for those who were on the journey with Breast Cancer, to seize every
opportunity to enjoy the life and love of others, to know that they may have Breast Cancer, but
that Breast Cancer never had them.