Diane Cole: Employee, Donor and Volunteer

NorthShore employee Diane Cole with her husband Robert

Diane Cole works in the Finance Department for NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore), but that only begins to define her caring and commitment.

As a donor, she gives regularly to NorthShore’s medical education fund for future physicians.

As a volunteer, she transports patients in wheelchairs at NorthShore Glenbrook Hospital, works at Auxiliary events such as the American Craft Exposition and the Hospitals’ Gala, and participates in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk, which NorthShore employees support every year as part of the organization’s “Sharing Our Spirit” initiative.

She also has the perspective of a NorthShore patient.

Cole, the Senior Director of Finance for NorthShore’s Research Institute, Foundation and Department of Family Medicine, spends most of her day involved with financial reporting and analysis for those three departments. “I enjoy working with spreadsheets, but volunteering enables me to be useful in a personal way. I like to be involved,” said Cole.

She doesn’t consider her efforts to be unique. “So many people at NorthShore volunteer and give back in a variety of ways,” said Cole. “I find it rewarding to meet nice people, learn new things and feel like I’m a part of something special.”

In February, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through surgery and chemotherapy, and just completed her last radiation treatment session in September at NorthShore’s Evanston Hospital. Cole’s first cancer care team member during the emotional beginning stages was Katharine Yao, MD, Director, Breast Surgical Program and Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. “My husband and I were both very pleased with Dr. Yao and the care I received,” said Cole. “She was so comforting. She told me I’d be okay and I am.” 

The result? Cole’s husband Robert is organizing a fundraising effort to support Dr. Yao’s research.

Robert with help from their friend John Lindholm, came up with the idea for a paintball tournament in which participants, dressed head to toe in safety gear, battle each other with paintball guns.
The event will be held Sunday, November 3 at CPX Sports, a 125-acre outdoor facility in Joliet, said Robert Cole. The rounds will start at 10:00 a.m. and run until 2:00 p.m. There will be a $55 entry fee to play which includes a case of paintballs. The proceeds will go to support Dr. Yao’s research.

“We’ll have teams and individuals who can participate in private groups or a three-man tournament. We hope to have about 300 to 500 people,” he said. The owner of the sports facility is donating the site and providing the paint at cost.

Diane Cole had to reduce her volunteer work at NorthShore while she went through cancer treatment, but she hopes to volunteer again in the future.

For more information on the paintball fundraiser, go to www.ChicagoWarpedShootForACure.com. Please also consider making a donation to support breast cancer research.

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