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Brian Shanahan

For most, hearing the news of an unexpected cancer diagnosis would be an experience that brings you to your knees. It was this way for Brian Shanahan, but—according to him—it’s what you do after your diagnosis that matters.

“You just never think it’s going to happen to you,” Shanahan said. “I knew UPMC Hillman Cancer Center was the best—they saved my father’s life. After meeting with my doctors, I knew that if I was going to survive, I had the best chance and was in the absolute best hands at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.”

Shanahan was right. Under the care of Dr. Vincent Reyes, the team implemented an extremely aggressive treatment plan to help shrink his tumor, making a life-saving operation possible.

Considered a “VIP” by his care team because of the frequency of his treatment, Shanahan was treated like a family member. The team made him feel optimistic, even while facing the most challenging obstacle of his life.

And his faith paid off.

A little more than a year later, he underwent a successful surgery and received good news; his scans were clear and he was in remission from an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. Shanahan, managing partner of PCG Capital, was now able to return to his life of normalcy—and he was more grateful than ever.

“UPMC is an extraordinary place that puts patients first. I am beyond appreciative—and I’m appreciative for all of the people who have paid it forward before me to help save my life,” Shanahan said. “I’m not sure how long I have on this earth—no one does, really—but I feel grateful and privileged that I am able to give back.”

As a result of his experience, Shanahan and his wife, Karen, have generously given more than $3 million to date to the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. In additional to his individual giving, he’s also collaborated with Dr. Reyes, Dr. Amer Zureikat, chief of surgical oncology at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, and Dr. Stanley Marks, chairman at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, to create other giving opportunities—like providing lead funding for a new signature fundraising event that will benefit research at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

“Why go anywhere else in the country when we have the best medicine in the world right here? UPMC and the work its doctors are doing means a lot to this city and I want to make that world-class treatment accessible to others who are battling cancer. If you have hope, you have a chance.”

Brian Shanahan would like to give a special thanks to his wife, Karen; his brother, Dr. James F. Shanahan; his parents; his family; God; and everyone in his community for their support and assistance throughout his journey