Donald J. McGee, 60, of Philadelphia, died on Thursday, April 2, 2020.
Donald was the son of the late Thomas J. and Janet M. McGee. He is survived by a large family who loved him dearly, including his siblings Tom, Joe, Janet Shlegle, Mary, and Peggy, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. He was greeted in heaven by his parents, his brother Frank, and his great-niece, Mia.
Donald graduated from West Catholic High School in 1978 and attended Allentown College. Donald worked as a pharmacy technician at Davis Pharmacy in West Philadelphia for over 35 years. He outlasted several store owners and provided support to his bosses and co-workers, even from his hospital bed.
Donald enjoyed playing pool at the VFW Club in West Philadelphia and watching sports and spending time with his friends and “brothers” at Bonner’s Irish Pub.
Donald was a big fan of the Eagles and Phillies and followed both teams closely. After waking up from a major surgery, one of his first questions was “Did the Phillies win?”. Donald was disappointed when baseball season was delayed. We believe that’s why he went “home” on the day that was supposed to be the Phillies home opener. Surely, they have baseball in heaven.
Donald was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and had 4 recurrences after that. His oncologist said he was the longest survivor of all her patients. Donald’s case was very unique – so much so that his doctors called him “an enigma”. Every specialist he saw (and there were many) said they’d never seen anything like this before. Donald made history when he was the first person to have the HIPEC treatment done at Hahnemann hospital. He was open to new medications or different combinations of medications and was willing to try whatever his doctors recommended to beat this disease. He often said that, if he couldn’t beat cancer, at least he could help others beat it in the future. He proudly wore his “Survivor” t-shirt and walked in Relay for Life events for several years. He maintained an incredibly positive attitude throughout all of this. His motto was ‘prepare for the worst but hope for the best’. His focus was on sticking around for as long as he could, but also making things easier on his loved ones and helping the medical professionals learn more about cancer. Because of his courage and willingness to try new medical procedures, there will be healing for future generations to come. We are so proud of the efforts he has made. People who never met him, will be eternally grateful to him.
Services and interment will be held at a future date due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Donations in Donald’s memory can be made to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, http://main.acsevents.org/goto/jshlegle
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American Cancer Society Relay for Life