About Joan Karnell

She thought of you. . . .

Joan Karnell was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the early 1980s. She was married to Robert Karnell and had three daughters, Kim, Cindy, and Dana. She gardened—and she was good at it—her plants thrived. 

Joan made crafted artistic items and sold her products. She loved to read and was often found sitting on their family deck with a cup of coffee and book in her spare time. Most of all, Joan thought of others.

She thought of you. . . 

about-karnell-joanCancer care was very different when Joan was treated at Pennsylvania Hospital. At most hospitals, women with cancer were seen in the same offices as maternity patients. Imagine going through a hysterectomy or double mastectomy with an uncertain future, while other women in the waiting room were preparing with hope and happiness to give life. 

Oncology was not the integrated specialty we know today. Back then, cancer patients were treated throughout the hospital, trying to find the way to each new test or department. Patients were admitted for chemotherapy without the advantage of today’s newer anti-nausea medications. Joan wanted everyone to be treated in a center dedicated to cancer patients, a center that provided the highest level of personalized care everyone deserves, and all in one location. She wanted emotional and nutritional support for patients to assist them through their daily journey of cancer care. 

She thought of you. . . 

The vision and foresight that Joan had so long ago benefits you today through many supportive care programs at Pennsylvania Hospital. Support groups, nutritionists, psychological support for each patient and their families, spiritual support, palliative and hospice programs and so much more. 

She thought of you. . . 

Joan was not a natural born leader. She stepped out of her comfort zone to raise awareness and bring change—not for herself, she knew she would not live that long—but for her daughters, her family, her neighbors and for you. Joan Karnell, with the help of her husband Robert, their friends and family, was able to make your journey through cancer a little bit better than it was for her. 

She thought of you.