Gift Honors a Beloved Wife and a Life Well-Lived

Marty Tanona

Marty Tanona honored his beloved wife, Arlene, with a gift to Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she spent 135 days while battling cancer.

Marty Tanona spent his career as a selfless community servant. He was a Coast Guard veteran and firefighter. But his proudest accomplishment was being a doting husband to his wife, Arlene.

The pair traveled the world together, from Canada to the Bahamas, to their favorite Hawaiian island, Kauai. They lived a near fairytale life—until Arlene was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in December 2017.

Together, they spent 135 days at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center as she battled the disease that would spread from her uterus to her liver, kidneys, and lungs. Arlene succumbed to the disease in August 2018.

Although Marty misses Arlene every day, he looks back on their experience at Banner MD Anderson with gratitude. He appreciates how everyone at the Cancer Center treated Arlene with gentle care and attention, and that, "No matter where, there was always someone there to help."

In Marty-like fashion, one of his last acts will be a selfless one: he has committed to donating 50 percent of his estate to Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center upon his passing. He sees it as the ultimate expression of gratitude, a way to honor his wife's memory, and the chance to create a charitable legacy.