Family Raises Funds for Cancer Research

Lauren Dewhirst and Sherry Winger

An area family has raised nearly $40,000 for pancreatic cancer research at NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) in honor of Douglas Winger, a beloved husband, father and grandfather who lost his battle to the disease one year ago.

More than 120 friends and family gathered in late April to raise funds and awareness for pancreatic cancer at “Party With A Purpose.” Hosted by Winger’s wife Sherry and their daughter Lauren and son-in-law Rick Dewhirst, the event was an opportunity to create a meaningful tribute, said Lauren Dewhirst. “We wanted to do something to honor my dad and this felt right. It also gave us a chance to shine the spotlight on pancreatic cancer and to raise research funds for my father’s physicians, who he adored.”

Douglas Winger’s surgeon was Mark Talamonti, MD, Chairman of the Department of Surgery, and the Stanton and Margaret Rogers Palmer Chair of Surgery. His oncologist was Robert de Wilton Marsh, MD. Attendees at the event learned more about the disease from NorthShore physicians, who presented a short overview, as well as details about ongoing research being conducted at NorthShore to diagnose and treat this specific form of cancer. NorthShore Foundation is in the midst of a three-year initiative to raise $30 million for all types of research being conducted at NorthShore.

“If we can help even one other person, then it’s been worth it,” said Dewhirst of the fundraiser. After her father’s surgery, the family bonded with Dr. Talamonti, who informed them the surgery wasn’t successful. “He spent two hours with us and understood what we were going through. He told us his father died of pancreatic cancer as well.”

“The commitment and the passion this family has for making a difference is a testament to their love and respect for Mr. Winger,” said Dr. Talamonti. “He fought this vicious disease valiantly and bravely and it was an honor to serve as his physician and surgeon. Our program will most assuredly benefit from their efforts and it will be a privilege knowing they are part of the NorthShore team trying to make real contributions in the care of these patients.”

For more information about ways to support the leading-edge research being conducted at NorthShore, please call 224.364.7214 or visit

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