When the nieces and nephews of Maryville resident Emily Hays learned that her three-year battle with breast cancer was soon to end, they wanted to do something special to honor their aunt during her lifetime.
Robert and Phyllis Yager’s children have always felt a special connection to their Aunt Emily, likely because their mother helped raise their aunt when the sisters’ mother died shortly after Emily was born. Although there is a 16-year age difference between the two girls, many have said that they are the mirror image of each other because they look and resemble each other so much.
“There was no one in the world closer than my sister and me,” Hays said.
Stuart, Michelle and Laura Yager all have such fond memories of their Aunt Emily, saying their main goal in life was to make her laugh till she cried, every visit. To them, she’s always been the fun, crazy, sassy aunt.
Hays worked as a nurse in Maryville for more than 25 years, both at Dr. Gary Sherlock’s dental practice and at Nodaway Nursing Home. His ties to serving others through health care as well as his battle with cancer led the Yagers to turn to Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville’s Oncology Clinic to honor his life and legacy. Through the Robert and Phyllis Yager Charitable Trust, the Yager family donated nearly $10,000 to help the clinic purchase two new infusion chairs for other local cancer patients who are going through the same battle as their aunt. They were also able to honor his life in the healing garden with a cobblestone, a butterfly and a tree.
“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Hays said of the gift. “I had no idea they were even thinking about it. I was glad they could do it for Maryville and the cancer center.
She speaks fondly of her time at Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville’s Cancer Center, saying the fact that it was close and that she didn’t have to travel out of town for appointments helped her immensely. helped. She also noted that the friendliness and intelligence of the staff really eased the burden of diagnosis and receiving treatment.
“You go there once, you get established, and every time you walk in, they know who you are. You’re just treated like a VIP,” Hays said. “I wouldn’t wish cancer or death on anyone, but the cancer center has certainly made it tolerable. Whatever your questions, they answer them with compassion. I have never regretted deciding to stay here in Maryville for treatment.