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Promise and Progress - Conor's Gift

A Cancer Revolution

Conor's Gift

Date: December 1, 2004

Ten-year-old Conor Griffin Goetz contributed more than his savings account to the battle against cancer. With a few short, handwritten lines, he gave a voice to all of the children and all of the Moms and Dads whose lives have been forever changed by cancer.

“Use this money to cure cancer,” wrote 10-year old Conor Griffin Goetz. Tucked inside his handwritten note was $55—his entire savings.

Though the staff in the Kimmel Cancer Center’s Development Office process more than 20,000 donations each year, many for larger amounts and with much longer instructions, this one stood out for its simplicity and sincerety. 

Conor was sending his donation in memory of his Dad, John W. Griffin, who had lost his battle with lymphoma. 

Development Director Michael Morsberger was so moved by Conor’s contribution and note that he sent him a Hopkins Blue Jays lacrosse hat and tickets to a game. At the time, he did not know that lacrosse was Conor’s favorite sport or that his Dad had played high school and college lacrosse.

Blue Jays Coach Dave Pietramala was also touched by Conor’s letter. He and the men’s lacrosse team welcomed Conor onto the field during a game last spring, presented him with a team jersey, and made him an honorary team captain.

Conor was “thrilled” to hang out with the players, and says his goal is to one day go to Johns Hopkins and play lacrosse for the Blue Jays. But, for the time being he has an even bigger dream.  It is the one that inspired him to put all of his savings into cancer research. He explains, “I hope someday other kids won’t have to lose their dad like I did.”