Inspired by a Legend
Jack W. Coffey made the decision in 1991, but it was many years earlier when he was inspired. As a young boy, he went with his father to the baseball field at 22nd and Brooklyn in Kansas City, Mo. It was there he saw a player named Ted Williams. Jack heard a story about Ted supporting the Jimmy Fund and it stuck with him. Little did Jack know he would grow up to have the same dream as Ted Williams—to beat cancer.
Growing up, Jack enjoyed spending time with his uncle, Dr. Ralph R. Coffey. Dr. Coffey would take Jack with him on rounds at the hospital where he worked. Jack saw many patients, but it was the cancer patients that really stood out.
After graduation, Jack took a job at General Hospital as a purchasing agent, where he worked for more than 30 years. In addition to being responsible for all the purchasing at General Hospital, he supplied Children's Mercy and several other area health care facilities. The children at Children's Mercy stuck with him.
Jack, himself, has battled cancer more than once and also suffered a severe beating during a home robbery. He knows adversity, which has earned him the nickname "the Comeback Kid."
In 1937, Jack's father took him to see the Yankees at spring training. It was there he had a baseball autographed by Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Jack saved that ball until recently when he donated it to the Cancer Center at Children's Mercy.
In addition to the autographed baseball, Jack has donated a model train, model boat, model airplane and two metal pedal cars to the children at Children's Mercy. He is most proud, however, that he has made the proper arrangements in his trust so his assets will help generations of children battling cancer make a comeback, like Joseph, whose story you can read on Page 4. Jack is truly an inspiration, and we appreciate his generosity.