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Survivor Marguerite McSween Fearn helps ensure that others get the best in breast cancer care

Marguerite McSween Fearn grew up learning about her family’s long history in Pacific Grove, dating back to 1906, but she had no idea of her strong, genetic link with breast cancer.

“It wasn’t until after I was diagnosed and treated that I found out I had several family members who also had breast cancer,” she says. “There was never any mention of it.”

A screening mammogram at Community Hospital’s Carol Hatton Breast Care Center detected Marguerite’s disease early, when it was even smaller than stage 1. She was newly retired from her career as an educator and preparing for a celebratory trip to France with two former colleagues when she got the news in July 2015.

“I was absolutely shocked,” she says, “but everyone at the Carol Hatton Breast Care Center was absolutely wonderful, caring, and encouraging. I felt very prepared for what was to come.”

Throughout her treatment and recovery, which included a mastectomy and breast reconstruction, Marguerite sought refuge at Asilomar Beach, the place that has always given her peace. It was there that she was struck with the idea that she wanted to make a gift to the breast care center in thanks for her amazing care.

She met with staff from Montage Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Montage Health, Community Hospital’s parent company, and learned about the planned giving option for a life estate.

“With the irrevocable commitment of the property my grandmother left me in Pacific Grove, I was able to make a meaningful gift and do something to benefit women, especially those economically challenged, who will come after me,” she says. “It feels really good to create a living legacy—knowing that I am leaving something behind that will help so many others.”

Learn how you can give to make a difference, at or call Montage Health Foundation at (831) 658-3630. 

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