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Generous legacy gift will support cancer patients

Published on Wednesday May 24, 2023
Leila and William McBratney

The late William (Bill) E. McBratney Jr. has left a lasting legacy that will provide hope and exceptional care for people in our communities who need treatment for cancer.

The charitable gift to the Alan B. Pearson Cancer Center Fund, nearly $450,000, will support the work of the Centra Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center, which opened in 2008 and filled a critical need for central Virginia.  

“Mr. McBratney was truly committed to serving his community during his long life,” said Matthew Foster, MD, MMM, senior vice president and chief physician executive. “His gift will help countless patients along their journey. We are humbled and incredibly honored to use this generous gift to provide a lasting impact to families and our community.” 

Passionate about supporting local healthcare, Bill made his first gift to Virginia Baptist Hospital in 1976. Over the years, he and his late wife, Leila Christian McBratney, both grateful patients, supported our healthcare system in numerous ways. In addition to annual gifts and continued gifts to Virginia Baptist, they made special gifts to support Hospice, the Greatest Need Fund and other critical areas of care.

When Leila developed cancer, she turned to the Pearson Cancer Center for treatment.  

“Dad and Mother both were very generous and thoughtful,” said Billy McBratney. “My parents were so grateful for the excellent care my mother received at Centra and the Pearson Cancer Center. They truly benefitted from the skilled staff and advanced technology. 

“That great care was enhanced by many gifts, including their friend Alan Pearson’s. In their own way, my parents wanted to continue the giving legacy to Centra to help provide even better healthcare to the Lynchburg area and surrounding communities. I am pleased Centra received the gift and confident the organization will make the most of it.” 

Centra Foundation is currently offering complimentary estate planning education. To learn more about legacy giving and how you can make an impact now and in the future, visit

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