Donna Herndon Enduring Hope campaign chair

Longtime Murray-Calloway County community advocate Donna Herndon has taken the role of chair for the Enduring Hope campaign that is being led by the Foundation at Murray-Calloway County Hospital. 

MURRAY — The Foundation at Murray-Calloway County has launched a new name (previously Murray Calloway Endowment for Healthcare) and a new campaign called Enduring Hope. 

This campaign will raise funds for a new regional cancer center on the campus of Murray-Calloway County Hospital. 

Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way, whether it has been a friend, a parent, a spouse, a child, etc. Taking the lead on helping raise funds and create awareness is campaign chair, Donna Herndon of Murray.

Donna Herndon is a name many know and a beacon of the Murray community. She graduated from Murray State University in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and received her master’s degree from Western Kentucky University.  Since graduating from Murray State in ‘64, she has continued to make it a top priority to give back and make a difference in the lives of members of the community. Herndon’s philanthropic and influential efforts in the community have helped to create a number of service organizations. These include Angels Community Clinic, Angels Attic, CASA by the Lakes, Calloway County Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention, Calloway County United Benevolent Services, Make a Difference Days, Quick Reference Directories, Murray Calloway County Homeless Coalition founding board vice-chair and the Santa Project. 

She was named Citizen of the Year in 2000 by the Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce and recognized at Murray State in 2017 with the Golden Horseshoe Award, which honors those who have given themselves to promote the interests of their alma mater. 

“Accepting the chairmanship for Enduring Hope was a prayerful decision. Without the outstanding care provided by Murray-Calloway County Hospital, my Woody (Herndon) could not have survived 19 years as he battled three cancers. It is a blessing and a challenge to pay it forward,” said Donna Herndon of her husband.

Kentucky has a cancer problem, and MCCH is focused on finding a solution.

In Kentucky, cancer is a disproportionate problem. Kentucky is one of five states with the highest incidence rate for cancer, with the commonwealth having the highest death rate of all.

By creating a comprehensive cancer center that will detect cancer sooner and increase survival rates of cancer patients in western Kentucky, MCCH said it is going to the front line of combatting this problem.

Centered on truly personalized care, the Cancer Center will provide individual treatment plans throughout the continuum of care. Treatment is designed around each person, not just their tumors.

The goal of this campaign is to create a one-of-a-kind cancer center that increases preventative services and takes targeted treatments to the next level for those diagnosed.

MCCH says it can give neighbors, colleagues and families new hope - with cancer care that goes a step beyond the already high quality. The result will change cancer statistics and affect this region for years to come.

Once construction begins on the new Regional Cancer Center, the project is expected to take 18 months and will consist of 17,388 square feet. The new facility will be located on the first floor of the North Tower of the hospital. The main entrance will be located on Eighth Street across from the current ambulance building.

“We want people in our region to have access to quality cancer care close to home, so they don’t have to travel elsewhere,” said Jerry Penner, hospital CEO,” and being closer to home allows their friends and family to visit and help provide additional support during such a stressful time.”

The MCCH Regional Cancer Center was awarded a three-year approval with commendation by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons again this year and has continually received the accreditation since 2005. This commendation represents the dedication and professionalism of the staff that provide patient care.

For information on Enduring Hope Call to find out how you can contribute and be a part of the Enduring Hope Campaign call Traci Lawrence, at 270-762-1291 or Keith Travis at 270-762-1908 or visit


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