Cancer patients in Alpena, both past and present have Mary Jane Stoner to thank for a facility right here in Alpena. The retired nurse passed away in 2015, but before she did she made sure to include the Alpena Cancer Center at MidMichigan Medical Center in her estate.
Stoner was the driving force behind establishing an oncology center in Alpena in 1979. What started as one doctor traveling from Saginaw to Alpena once a month to administer cancer treatment, eventually turned into what is now the Alpena Cancer Center.
Stoner was responsible for bringing that doctor, Hematologist and Oncologist John Hughes, to Alpena in the first place. As the growing need became apparent, the doctor made more frequent visits until a cancer center was eventually established.
She was a part of the Cancer Center in its early days, being one of the first nurses to administer chemotherapy to patients. She even saw the center expand its services to radiation in her retirement. This year, the cancer center will see new technology such as the linear accelerator, which administers radiation therapy to patients.