Natividad nonprofit gets largest donation ever from Matsui family

  • July 30, 2018
  • Salinas Californian

By Joe Szydlowski, Salinas Californian

Owners of a Salinas orchid business have given the Natividad Foundation its largest donation ever from an individual.

Teresa Matsui, president and CEO of Matsui Nursery, gifted $500,000 to the foundation for new facilities to help cancer and other chronic disease treatments, said Hillary Fish, director of Annual Programs for the foundation, in a press release.

Natividad currently does offer intravenous treatments, but the new facilities will focus on outpatient treatment and easier access to therapies.

The money will fund updates to Natividad’s pharmacy to create a room for preparing intravenous mixtures, also known as infusions, Fish said.

It also pays for a four-room infusion center for administering outpatient IV treatments under physician supervision, Fish said. Any leftover funds will be dedicated to improving infusion and chemotherapy services, she said.

That facility means easier access to treatments for the Salinas area, Fish said.

Teresa Matsui donated the money in honor of her mother, Yasuko Matsui, according to the press release. Both Matsuis survived breast cancer and have a gene that makes them more vulnerable to both breast and ovarian cancer.

“Under the best of circumstances, going through cancer treatment – whether surgery, radiation or chemotherapy – is a trying process,” Teresa Matsui said in a prepared statement.

She is the head of Matsui Orchids, a Salinas business that grows orchids for sale across North America.

Her donation is the largest one from an individual or family in the foundation’s history, Fish said.

Without that donation, the project wouldn’t have been possible, said Gary Gray, Natividad’s CEO, in a statement.

Giving back to the community is important for every business, Teresa Matsui said.

“Social issues are business issues and business people need to be social activists,” she said. “People in our community are employees, they’re customers and they’re stakeholders. If we don’t have community, what does that mean for the future of our businesses?”