In Memoriam


Over the years, we’ve been inspired by the selfless acts of a number of friends and family who have taken up Caroline’s cause as their own. On this page, read the stories of those who have chosen to leave a lasting legacy in support of childhood cancer research, and donate in their memory.


Ben Burchard

Before and after his diagnosis, Ben was a straight-A student with a passion for racing. Though he lived a life full of achievement and happiness, Ben would have told you that he was most happy after his diagnosis. A life focused is a happy life, and Ben’s illness directed his focus.  At eleven years old, Ben was diagnosed with metastatic osteosarcoma, a bone cancer that had spread out into other parts of his body.  He maintained his A-average and kept up with his passion for racing for fourteen months.  His love of life continued even after cancer paralyzed him from the chest down—he lived then from his heart.

The loss of Ben’s life reflects the serious lack of funding and new research into treatment of pediatric cancers. The only treatments that were available to him are the same ones he would have received thirty years ago…is there any other field in medicine where you could say the same? When Ben heard Caroline’s story from her mother, he was inspired to contribute to the good work of the Caroline Symmes Endowment. Even when he had no hope for himself, it was his dream to provide hope for others. In today’s advanced world, no child should hear that their disease cannot be cured.

If you’d like to make a contribution to the endowment in Ben’s memory, please click the button at the top of this page.


Paul Hutter

Paul Hutter was a longtime friend of the Symmes family whose love for Caroline helped to lay the groundwork for the Caroline Symmes Endowment. Through a shared love of golf, Paul (and the entire Hutter family) built a strong relationship with David, and eventually the whole family. After Caroline’s diagnosis, Paul was a constant presence, visiting often and sending cards weekly when visits weren’t possible. Two years after Caroline’s death, Paul came to the Symmes family with a $25,000 donation to act as seed money for what would become the Endowment. Together, the Symmes and Paul found the perfect investigator and home for the money at Riley Hospital, and the Endowment made a commitment to raise $100,000 within four years on top of Paul’s initial contribution. That goal was reached within nine months.

Paul has since passed away, but his commitment to funding pediatric cancer research is a constant reminder of his kindness and generosity. If you’d like to make a donation to our endowment in Paul’s name, please click the button at the top of this page.


Family and Friends

We are also humbled that several of our close family and friends have asked that donations be made to the endowment in their memory. Caroline’s grandmother, Nancy McCown Symmes, her great aunt Barbara Menzie, and family friends Brad Yosha and Melvin David all honored us as the beneficiaries of their memorials. If you would like to contribute in any of their remembrance, please click the button at the top of this page.