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Rick and Susan Imbert and the joy of giving

Rick and Susan Imbert holding hands at home

When they married 20 years ago, Susan and Rick Imbert captured their philosophy of life on their wedding invitation: “Let joy be your compass in life.”

“When we’ve been in the position of helping someone, it has given us greater joy than one would imagine,” says Susan.

Little did Susan know that one day she would benefit from their personal generosity in a way she could have never imagined.

Giving to their community

The Imberts were introduced to Southside Hospital through a close friend. Already supporters of hospital events and fundraisers, as they became more informed of Northwell Health’s vision for Southside Hospital and plans for its expansion, they wanted to be a part of the transformation.

Susan Imbert sitting in the gazebo

“Boaters rely on a compass to keep a steady course. Our moral compass led us to help Northwell Health build a cancer center here on the South Shore of Long Island as soon as possible,” says Susan. “We appreciated their foresight that our community was in desperate need of such a facility, and fortunately, we were in a position to help. So we did. We are happy to share our gift for generations to come.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony to open Imbert Cancer Center was in October of 2016. “I can’t even describe the joy I felt at that moment,” says Susan. “Hearing the story of the young mom and what it meant to have this resource nearby for treatment — as she tried to balance raising her children while battling cancer — made it an even more fulfilling experience.”

Giving to help people with cancer — and ultimately, herself 

The following October, Susan was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. “We had no cancer in our family before that we were aware of. I thought to myself, ‘Why me?’ But then, I adjusted my thinking. ‘Why not me?’” she says. “We are all in this world together. I told Rick, ‘Maybe my presence at the center could be an encouragement to others.’”

Susan Imbert looking out the window

Susan entered the Imbert Cancer Center for treatment after surgery. “Walking in the front door, everyone was so kind,” says Susan. “The center is designed to promote a calming experience, with windows looking out onto the lawn and gardens. Everyone makes you feel comfortable. It’s very reassuring, and it’s right here in our neighborhood. No need to go to the city or drive to the North Shore.”

quotation mark When I’ve been in the position to help someone, it’s given me a bigger joy than I could have imagined.
Susan Imbert

Now cancer-free for a year and a half, Susan and Rick have an even greater appreciation for Northwell’s decision to support the South Shore with state-of-the-art medical care. “We are reminded almost every month through letters, phone calls and word-of-mouth stories of how the Imbert Cancer Center has helped others,” says Susan.

“Rick and I feel a sense of responsibility to our community. We hope to inspire others to do the same.”

  • September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Donate here.

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