Rose Greenawalt grew up in the tiny town of Flintstone, MD. “Just like the cartoon,” she jokes. In 1956, Rose braved leaving her small hometown for Hagerstown Business College. After receiving her secretarial degree, she decided to settle down and make Hagerstown her home. Rose’s first job was with the University of Maryland Extension Service, where she worked for 30 years as Secretary to the Agriculture and Horticulture Agents.
While working there, Rose took a part-time job as a realtor. Once she left University of Maryland, she began working full-time at Long and Foster which spurred her 40-year long career in real estate. Despite her back problems, Rose is undaunted. She still goes to work every day. “It keeps me going,” she says. Having that responsibility makes her get out of bed in the morning.
One of Rose’s favorite topics of conversation is her late dog—and unofficial mascot of her Long and Foster office—Lassie. Like Rose, Lassie had a funny personality. There were times when Lassie would hide Rose’s shoes to prevent her from leaving the house. He attended all of Rose’s real estate parties and became a local celebrity. Although dogs were not permitted in Hagerstown’s annual Mummers parade, Lassie was allowed on the float with her (he in his tuxedo and she in her gown). The float won second place.
In 2016, Rose was diagnosed with lung cancer. She had surgery but refused radiation or chemotherapy. She is now cancer-free. She thanks her physician, Dr. Samuel Chan, and her surgeons, Dr. Yong Tang and Dr. Mark Sullivan, for wonderful care. “I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but God has been good to me. And I know He is in control,” says Rose.
Sadly, Rose has been touched by cancer in other ways. Although her mother was a cancer survivor, Rose’s sister and grandmother both died of cancer. And most devastating of all, Rose lost her son to liver cancer in 2020.
Rose supports AICR because she does not want other families to experience such loss. In addition to making outright gifts to support AICR’s cancer research and prevention efforts, she has now funded two charitable gift annuities. She likes that the money will be used to help fight cancer. “The research needs to continue,” she says and agrees that prevention is important. “What you eat matters,” she says. Reducing cancer risk and reducing recurrence in cancer survivors is especially important to her.
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