Cancer patient’s family sets up scholarship fund for nurses

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AURORA, Colo. -- Scott Ferguson passed away following a battle with melanoma in April, but he was so touched by the nurses who cared for him in those final months, he asked his wife to set up a scholarship fund for students to attend University of Colorado College of Nursing.

Ferguson was a husband and father who loved the outdoors. He was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma at the age of 49 and died in April of this year.

His wife, Darice Henritze, says Scott spent about 3 ½ months in the hospital before he passed, and they were both amazed by the impact the nurses had on his final days.

“There was nobody that was going to save him, but what those nurses did is they kept him from feeling great pain, they kept him happy. They made him laugh, they did so many things to just keep him spiritually sound,” Henritze said.

She says the nurses at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital held dance parties for Scott. They helped him physically and emotionally. They even helped him process his sadness about leaving his son without a father.

“It was one of the gifts, I suppose, that they gave him, was helping him understand that it was going to be OK, that we were all going to be OK,” Henritze said.

It was so meaningful that before he died, Scott told Darice he wanted her to start a scholarship fund to help more people go to nursing school. So Darice started the Scott Ferguson Endowed Scholarship Fund to support scholarships for University of Colorado College of Nursing students.

It means a lot to the nurses who cared for Scott, like Margo Schenk.

"This is going to make such a big difference in the lives of so many future nurses,” Schenk said.

If you ask Darice, it’s the nurses who make the difference.

“I could never say thank you enough to those nurses,” Henritze said.

The fund has already raised more than $60,000 for scholarships. The first one will be awarded in the spring.

If you would like to donate or find more information, visit the scholarship's website.

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