The Patricia Trost Friedler Cancer Counseling Center was established on July 1, 1985, in memory of Mrs. Friedler. Born Patricia Trost in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1936, she graduated from Louisville Collegiate School and Sarah Lawrence College before marrying Frank Friedler, Jr., in 1957 and moving to New Orleans, where she lived until her death from breast cancer on May 2, 1983. Mrs. Friedler was very active in the social life of New Orleans and was a civic leader, serving on many boards, including the Travelers Aid Society and the Crescent House of New Orleans. She is survived by her husband, a former New Orleans City Councilman, and their three children: Frank Friedler III, M. Trost Friedler, and Carey H. Friedler.
Philanthropy is always to be admired, but perhaps deeds performed in anonymity are among the highest forms of personal giving. Mrs. Friedler is best remembered for two activities, neither of which were performed with any publicity. Through the auspices of the Social Welfare Department of the Orleans Parish School Board, for many years she adopted as many as eight families for whom she would shop to fill their "Christmas Wish" lists with care and love.
More compelling, however, was her personal campaign for educating and counseling others about the needs of cancer patients and the challenges of living with cancer. Arising from her own experience with cancer, she was never too busy to help and spent much of her time visiting and counseling other cancer patients. She stressed the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and striving for a high quality of life throughout one's fight against cancer.
Friedler helped produce a training film for physicians at Louisiana State University School of Medicine. A valuable educational tool in medical ethics courses, it deals with what a physician should tell a cancer patient and what a patient has the right to know.
Through the generosity of her family and friends, the spirit and substance of her works live on.