A Shining Light for the Eye & Ear Foundation

S+S Fall 2022

With the passing of Marian Mosites this past July, the Eye & Ear Foundation has lost a generous and kind soul. A head and neck cancer survivor, her experience led to the establishment at EEF of the Marian Mosites Initiative for Personalized Head and Neck Cancer Research in 2014. During its tenure, the initiative raised tens of thousands of dollars to advance research and treatment of head and neck cancer.

Marian’s involvement started when she noticed a lump in her neck in 1997. While preliminary tests did not indicate a spread of cancer, she visited Dr. Eugene N. Myers to be sure. Despite his initial suspicion that it was not cancer, Dr. Myers performed a biopsy that showed otherwise. The cancer had spread from her tonsil into her lymph nodes. Surgical removal of the cancer, followed by radiation and chemotherapy proved to be successful, and she remained cancer free.

Marian called Dr. Myers her knight in shining armor. “Throughout the diagnoses, the surgery, the post-operative treatment and the follow-up care, Dr. Myers and the department were so very skilled, knowledgeable and on the cutting edge of [their] field, yet so very kind, caring, and humble,” she told EEF in 2015.

Marian and her family were so impressed by the treatment she received that expressing her gratitude by donating to EEF was “a sure bet.” After hearing about the ways in which personalized medicine was the future of innovative treatment for head and neck cancer, the family went one step further by establishing the initiative in her name.

The Pittsburgh native – who lived to 90 – is survived by Steven Mosites, her husband of 67 years, along with five children, a dozen grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Daughter Cynthia Sunseri is on the Board of the Eye & Ear Foundation. Marian’s obituary lists her love of cooking and natural talent for interior design, gardening, and fashion.

Whenever Lawton Snyder, Chief Executive Officer of EEF, spoke with Marian, she always put him in a good mood. “She was a ray of sunshine,” he said of the woman whose family described her as a “sparkling and burning light who illuminated, inspired, and guided [them] to lead lives as joy-filled and giving as hers.”