Towards the late 1990s Harold Shaw told his doctor and good friend, Dr. Jack Eck, that he wanted to help the community, even more than he and his wife, Mary Louise, already had. In 1982, the Shaws’ son, Hal Jr., died in a car accident on Vail Pass. In honor of their son, Harold and Mar Louise donated funds to build a new wing onto the hospital, which became the Hal Jr. Patient Care Unit, named for Hal, Jr.
Harold Shaw served as a hospital board member in the 1980s. In his elder years, Shaw continued to stop in on a monthly basis for hospital board meetings from his home in Dayton, Ohio. “My father had his priorities, and it was primarily the Vail Valley and the hospital, and then the cancer center,” says his daughter, Sally Veitch. “I think my brother’s death put hospitals in the forefront.”
When Shaw told Eck he was “interested in doing something more” for Vail and asked Eck’s opinion, the doctor told him about the rising number of cancer patients he was seeing in the valley. As an internal medicine physician, Eck began working with an oncologist who came to Vail from Denver, first once a month, then once a week as the need continued to grow. Dr. Eck treated many local citizens that did not want, or could not leave home, for cancer care. The Shaw family ultimately contributed about $17 million to build the Shaw Cancer Center.
Shaw Cancer Center opened in 2001, about one year after Hal Shaw passed away. However, Shaw had walked the site many times, and his wife, Mary Louise, an early-stage breast cancer survivor herself, attended the ribbon cutting. Since its opening, the cancer center has grown to include Jack’s Place, named after Eck, which provides lodging for patients and their caregivers while receiving treatment at Shaw.
While Shaw Cancer Center remains cutting edge, as evidenced by technology like the state-of-the-art Image Guided Linear Accelerator for radiation treatment and 3D mammography, it also places a premium on providing complementary care, including support services, fitness and nutrition counseling, massage, physical therapy and educational and enriching classes and experiences.
Having the Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards means that mountain residents can receive high-quality treatment for cancer from the Shaw team of experts in this beautiful setting, close to home.