Jennifer Sutherland gently touched the beaded necklace clasped around her neck. A piece of jewelry could hardly make up for what she had been through, but the gesture and the thought behind it brought tears to her eyes. During an informal ceremony at Keck Hospital of USC in May, CEO Scott Evans told her that the gift was a way to remember that even though she would soon be leaving the hospital after two months, she had friends who would be there for her whenever she needed them.

“This gives you something to hold onto and look at,” Evans said. “It’s a token to say ‘We’re here with you all the time.’ ”

The necklace was one of 725 similar pieces being given to female patients at Keck Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Hospital in recognition of their courage and inspiration to others. The jewelry was the idea of Carol Mollett, president of Town and Gown of USC, the university’s longest-serving support organization.
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