A Passionate Life
If you visit the Carol G. Simon Cancer Center on a Wednesday, you will likely find Eileen O. Brown, 81, singing to the accompaniment of piano player Bob Egan. "I have been singing for 18 years at the hospital," she says proudly. "I love singing."
A truly remarkable woman, Mrs. Brown has followed many passions over the years.
Initially, she was interested in politics and government, leading to a BA in political science from Trinity College in 1952. She then met her husband, Phillip J. Brown Jr., who was the best man at her sister's wedding. In describing their brief courtship, she says, "We went on a blind date and then five dates later we got engaged because he was going to Korea."
Once married, the couple traveled the world, living in Venezuela, Belgium, and London. During her travels, Mrs. Brown learned Spanish and French. Her volunteer role at that time focused on helping the children in Venezuela. She also taught English as a significant part of her service work.
Eventually, she and her husband returned to the states and settled in New Jersey.
Her introduction to Morristown Medical Center began with the birth of her children. "Two of my children were born at the hospital," she recalls fondly. Many years later, when her husband began to suffer from Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, she consulted well-respected professionals in the medical field for advice. She was told, "There is no better place than right where you are. Morristown Medical Center is as good as they come." Mrs. Brown says that the quality of health care her husband received was exceptional. Ultimately, however, after 42 years of marriage, he passed away in the late 1990s.
In gratitude to the hospital for years of outstanding care, Mrs. Brown supports the Foundation for Morristown Medical Center through both annual gifts and a bequest in her will. "My husband and I had six children, and giving to charity is our seventh child," she explains. In recognition of her husband's bequest, his name graces a room on Simon 5, the hospital's fifth floor. "He was very enthusiastic about the hospital," she says.
More recently, Mrs. Brown broke first one hip and then the other, receiving orthopedic and rehabilitation care from the hospital. "It's a huge blessing having the hospital close by," she says with relief. "What it offers is extraordinary."