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Donor Profile

Ben and Ellen Harvey

Compassionate Care Lasting a Lifetime

Ben and Ellen Harvey at a Mass Eye and Ear eventIn 2013, Ellen Harvey noticed an ache in her neck that felt similar to a twisted muscle. When the pain did not subside, she received a CT scan from her local doctor. The results did in fact show a twisted muscle, but also a 7x11cm growth in the middle of her neck.

Reassuringly, the biopsy results were negative, but Ellen still needed surgery to remove the growth. Due to the significant risks associated with the operation, her local surgeon referred her to the “absolute best,” Gregory W. Randolph, MD, FACS, Director of the Thyroid and Parathyroid Endocrine Surgical Division at Mass Eye and Ear.

Dr. Randolph determined that the growth, which was narrowing her airway, had been growing for over ten years, and they were lucky to have stumbled upon it.

“I had complete trust in Dr. Randolph before the surgery,” said Ellen. “He was transparent, positive and caring. He was there beside me when I woke up, asking me to speak to him. We both were filled with joy when my voice sounded just as good as it did pre-surgery.”

Just five weeks after her surgery, Ellen delivered the speech of her lifetime when she was inducted into the Environmental Industry Association’s Hall of Fame, one of only three women ever to receive this prestigious honor. Much to her relief, she spoke effortlessly.

When the Harveys sold their family company in 2021, a philanthropic opportunity presented itself and they chose Dr. Randolph to be the first major recipient of their generosity.

“The Harveys’ gift was exceptionally touching as it shows how compassionate care will stay with a patient for years after their visit to Mass Eye and Ear,” Dr. Randolph said. “I will be using their gift for thyroid surgical research and global teaching. This gift will not only help us lead the fight against thyroid diseases, but gives us the opportunity to teach future leaders of medicine how to care for their patients to make a lifelong impact.”