Family Ties

Family ties bind Haubs' decision to support Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Philanthropic Partners Helga and Erivan Haub discovered hope and healing after a second opinion at Mayo Clinic.

In a few special places in the world, time slows to a standstill. The Haub family has found one of these places: a working ranch at the foot of the Wind River Range, a secluded section of the Rocky Mountains in western Wyoming. The family, originally from Germany and with family members now dispersed around the globe, comes here once a year.

At the ranch, the American West is alive and undisturbed by the frantic pace of faraway cities. In the high elevation, even summer mornings are crisp. The sun rises over mountain peaks and warms the wet grass. And a fog slowly lifts. But, for the Haubs, taking in these mornings from the ranch house, time stands still.

The family says they treasure these moments. Erivan Haub and his wife, Helga Haub, purchased the property about 30 years ago. The couple, then in their 50s, had been given a new lease on life.

Erivan, living in Germany and heading the family business, had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Doctors at the time performed surgery but not radiation treatment. At a later appointment, Helga received a new prognosis for her husband's health.

"They told me, 'He has only two more years, at most,'" she says. "I was almost under the table. I'm glad my son was with me."

At the encouragement of a friend, the Haubs sought a second opinion at Mayo Clinic. The change in outlook for Erivan was almost immediate. He received radiation treatment and made a long-term care plan to keep the cancer from returning or spreading.

While Erivan received care at Mayo Clinic, he and his wife found something unexpected — the clinic, with its beginnings as a family-owned practice, operated on values that felt much like the principles of the Haubs' business, the Tengelmann Group.

The relationship between the Haubs and Mayo Clinic grew, and as the Haubs discovered more about the clinic and its mission, they became more interested in participating in that mission. The couple became regular benefactors of the clinic, establishing an example of philanthropy that has been followed by other members of the Haub family.

Giving Hope

The Haubs have helped ensure Mayo Clinic's legacy through two named professorships, in honor of Richard F. Emslander, M.D., and Horst Zincke, M.D., Ph.D., as well as through career development awards to spur the careers of younger medical professionals at the clinic.

The Haubs have also established the Erivan K. and Helga Haub Family Fund in Image-Guided Urology to advance innovative treatment methods in the field. Perhaps the family's most unique gift, though, is the Mayo Clinic Stiftung, a foundation that facilitates giving from German citizens to Mayo Clinic to support medical science and research. This pattern of giving is representative of the hope the Haubs have seen at Mayo Clinic.

"Taking is for once; giving is forever," Helga says, using an old German adage. This giving spirit has taken root in Erivan and Helga's son Christian Haub and Christian's generation of the family.

"My parents always have been a great example of dedication and commitment to lead a responsible life, both professionally and in the community you live in," Christian says. "They taught me that working hard is very rewarding and giving back can bring even more joy, especially if you can witness the impact of your philanthropy firsthand."

A Family United

While the family business and a legacy of philanthropy are central to the Haub family, there is nothing more important to its members than the family itself. And so, for a short time each year, the family returns to the quiet ranch in Wyoming. Business continues around the globe unimpeded, but for a few short days, the Haubs are insulated. They enjoy their time together: parents and grandparents, children and grandchildren.

And while they are together, for just long enough, time stands still.

Generations of Values

Mayo Clinic Philanthropic Partners Erivan Haub and Helga Haub built a relationship with Mayo Clinic during their patient experiences and after finding the clinic and the Haubs' family business held similar values. The Haubs' business and Mayo Clinic each kept a family legacy at heart and grew around a set of core values.

The Tengelmann Group and Mayo Clinic were founded just a few short years apart. William Worrall Mayo, M.D., began his practice in Rochester, Minnesota, in 1863. The Tengelmanns, great-grandparents to Erivan Haub, established an imported coffee and tea shop in Germany in 1867.

Family members shepherded the Tengelmann business through two world wars, among other challenges, to not only survive, but grow. For many years, Tengelmann owned the venerable A&P supermarket business in the United States and Canada before it sold the business some time ago.

Today, Tengelmann Group has grown to a network of specialty retail chains, real estate holdings and venture capital portfolios in Europe and North America. Just as Dr. William Worrall Mayo's two sons, William J. Mayo, M.D., and Charles W. Mayo, M.D., expanded on their father's practice to grow Mayo Clinic into a global destination for health care, generations of the Tengelmann and Haub family grew the venture to have a global reach. The Haubs continue to be dedicated benefactors and are recognized as Philanthropic Partners of Mayo Clinic.

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