In 2004, Rees Skillern learned he had brain cancer. During an eight-year battle, Rees traveled all over the state in search of the best treatment possible. The journey led Rees and his parents, Fred and Bettye, to Memorial, where they spent many weeks fighting the disease.
When Rees died in 2013, his parents acted on his wishes to fund a cancer institute at Memorial that would ensure that future cancer patients could receive the best possible care here in Chattanooga. The Skillern’s $3 million gift is expanding access to treatment and information, research, and the region’s first high-risk genetic counseling clinic. “Rees was so giving, his giving spirit and his memory lives on at Memorial” said Fred Skillern.