John Wareck’s family has lived and worked in the New Haven area for three generations. His grandfather emigrated from Russia in 1901 and started an auto business in the area. Over the years the family has developed a long-standing relationship with Yale. His father graduated from Yale University in 1952, and both of his daughters were born at Yale-New Haven Hospital. When his parents were diagnosed with cancer, they were both treated at Yale as well. His family has grown to learn the deep connection that exists between Yale and the New Haven community and the need to support both.
John’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the early 1990’s and his mother with breast cancer a few years ago. Unfortunately his father was diagnosed at a late stage and succumbed to the disease, but thankfully his mother is in remission today. John’s history of giving is a long one. He can remember back to his childhood and donating money to local charities. He has given to the Yale Golf Course where his father played while in school, and to the Yale Medical Community as a whole over the years.
“It’s good to make a habit of giving; if you start when you are young than it becomes easier to give as you get older. Personally it makes me feel involved and invested in something. Every bit helps and it’s gratifying to know that I am a part of the bigger picture. It makes me happy to know that I can help solve some of the challenges that others are facing,” said John.
Having a real estate business located in New Haven, John is rooted in the community and understands the importance of giving locally. He said he doesn’t need an excuse to give, but is pleased that Yale is one of the foremost research facilities and happens to be in his ‘backyard.’ Most recently, John and his mother Barbara have each donated to the new Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. He feels that having cancer care consolidated to one building is great for patients especially at a time when they are coping with a serious medical condition such as cancer.
“It is wonderful to have all the experts in one place enabling them to work more efficiently. There is now a beautiful building that people can see and know that even by giving a little, they can be a part of something that is making such a dramatic difference,” said John. “It’s hard to imagine not giving to and supporting Yale, because it supports us and we need to give that support in return.”
Pancreatic cancer is still a tough disease to fight, but John explained he feels that if Smilow were around when his father was diagnosed, along with the technology that exists today, that maybe his father could have been saved. There is hope for him in knowing that now people like his father with late stage pancreatic cancer have a chance at a future, and for him that’s what giving is all about, the future.
“My experience with giving has been tremendous. If I can give to just one person, one researcher, or one doctor, and help them try to cure cancer, that’s enough. It is a great feeling knowing that I am playing a role in helping them with cutting edge research to help fight this disease,” said John.