Joe Setaro

On a Mission to Help Others

Joe Setaro“I’ve not done anything. They’ve done for me.”

Joe Setaro uttered this humble response as he described being inducted into Bethesda Foundation’s Legacy Society for his inclusion of Hospice of Cincinnati in his estate plans.

Truth is, he has done something. Something very beautiful.

In 2006, Setaro lost his wife, Iris, to uterine cancer, a secondary cancer to a previous breast cancer diagnosis. After surgery to remove a uterine mass and news of more tumors a year later, “she realized the most intelligent thing to do was to contact Hospice of Cincinnati,” he recalls.

“It’s not that she gave up,” he explains. “She just couldn’t go on physically, and she didn’t want to take the drugs anymore.” Setaro describes the care his wife and family received as “awe-inspiring.”

“It’s not a nice thing you’re facing – knowing you’re going to be left alone,” he recalls. “Here we were, with people who were at one time strangers, and they were now guiding her to the next plane. … God’s on the one side and they’re on the other. How can I not get through it?”

In honor of his wife and in appreciation of the care she received, Setaro has named Hospice of Cincinnati in his will. “I just want to be a tiny little part of a magnificent organization. I’m hoping to leave this place a little bit better when I go away than when I came.”

But Setaro doesn’t stop there.

Upon several visits to his wife’s grave, lovingly placing flowers at her headstone each month, he realized he could do more to ensure that others received the same high quality end-of-life care. “I find that a greater gift to her is to help someone else in her position.”

So, Setaro decided to make a monthly contribution to Hospice of Cincinnati in Iris’s memory. “It’s like putting flowers on her grave every month.”

Setaro contends that the people working at Hospice of Cincinnati must be “God-sent angels” to handle the stresses involved with end-of-life care. “They administer the dignity someone needs in the last stage of life. … My God’s mission is to help them out as much as I can.”