Friends of the Lymphoma Foundation
, and members of the Board are an integral part of the heart and soul of what makes this nation the greatest nation of them all, because it is the extraordinary, selfless contributions of each and every one of us that moves the wheels of science forward and the chance for a cancer-free life.

Despite the current threat to our very existence by violent acts of terrorism we remain steadfast in the knowledge that we will be triumphant and we will continue to survive in a free society.

Our determination to support the rapidly developing advances in scientific medical knowledge… will lead us all into a cancer free world.


Mortimer J. Lacher, M.D.

William D. Zabel, Esq.

Martin Zausner


Andrew J. Bresnahan

Tricia C. Bresnahan

Robert P. Castrignano

Morton Coleman, M.D.

Raymond L. Comenzo, M.D.

Janice L. Gabrilove, M.D.

William R. Gruver

Marvin Hochberg

Karen Hughes

Ellen B. Levin***

Sandy Levin

John P. Leonard, M.D.

J. Andrew McEntire

Simone J. McEntire

Kenneth Offit, M.D., M.P.H.

Dale Pratt

David Pratt, Esq.

Nancy B. Rooney

Anthony Scaramucci

Lisa T. Scaramucci

David A. Scheinberg, M.D., Ph.D.

Emily B. Sonnenblick, M.D.

Deanne R. Spiegel

Edward Spiegel***

David J. Straus, M.D.

Sr. Kathleen Toner**

Marcel van den Brink, M.D., Ph.D.

Raymond P. Warrell, Jr., M.D.

Joachim Yahalom, M.D.

Andrew D. Zelenetz, M.D., Ph.D.

Andrew D. Zelenetz, MD, PhD, is the Chief of the Lymphoma Service, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Dr. Zelenetz received his BA and PhD from Harvard University and his MD from Harvard Medical School. His internship and residency were completed at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Zelenetz is a member of  the American Society of Hematology (ASH), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American College of Physicians. He is Vice Chairperson of the Cancer and Leukemia Group B Lymphoma Core Committee and Chair of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCNN) Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Panel. His research focuses on new treatments for lymphoma with a special emphasis on immunotherapy.

Marcel R. M. van den Brink, MD, PhD, holds the Alan N. Houghton Chair at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is the Head, Division of Hematologic Oncology. Dr. van den Brink earned his MD and PhD degrees from Leiden University, in the Netherlands. He was a resident at Duke University Medical Center and held a fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He joined Memorial Sloan-Kettering in 1999. He is an expert in allogeneic (donor provided) blood stem cell transplantation for adult cancer patients. As a physician-scientist, he also heads a laboratory in the Sloan-Kettering Institute Immunology Program. His laboratory’s major research explores strategies to enhance post-transplant immune reconstitution to improve outcomes for transplant patients.







Homage to Ellen Levin an esteemed Board Member of the Lymphoma Foundation and a wonderful friend

Sunday, November 29, 2009


DEAR SANDY, SUSAN and MARCIA, Diana and  I have been out of touch over this Thanksgiving holiday and we just got home (it’s midnight Sunday November 29) and we heard the heart rending message of Sandy that Ellen had passed away on Saturday afternoon.

We loved Ellen. We loved hearing her deep reassuring voice and learning that after each relapse of her lymphoma… with the help of a new medication or a new combination of medicines… she was recovering. Ellen’s continuing strength and high spirit in the face of many setbacks gave us hope that she would always recover. She survived heart attacks and abdominal surgeries and bouts of debilitating back pain and managed all of those events in addition to remaining under treatment for lymphocytic leukemia for ten years.


Ellen and her husband, Sandy, worked together for years at a successful business and they also cared and supported philanthropic causes to maintain the preservation of wildlife, offering opportunities to first-generation college students, and contributing to the support of research for lymphoma and leukemia and other charitable pursuits. 


The last time we were with Ellen was in New York City where she was conferring with Dr. John Leonard about her next course of leukemia treatment. Sandy and Ellen flew in from their home in Houston, saw Dr. Leonard at New York Hospital… and then went to the hotel to get ready to return the next morning for home. Ellen was too weak to venture out of the hotel for dinner in a restaurant. Instead Diana and I visited Sandy and Ellen in their hotel room and brought them (and us) “take out” from Carnegie Deli. We had our own unique dining experience of a fun meal that topped anything available from room service.


We loved Ellen’s upbeat email messages and admired her determination… that despite her disabling medical problems she continued her travels to so many places in the USA, Mexico, Africa and all over Europe and even China… as if nothing bothered her. We loved to know where Ellen and Sandy had been or were going… as Diana and I could enjoy their trips… vicariously. One of Ellen’s last email messages to us outlined her very recent fun time on the Gulf Coast.  There was the sound of joy in her message… because she had a brief period of relaxation in the middle of some difficult treatments.


Ellen remained stalwart throughout many difficult chemotherapy treatments, heart attacks and life threatening infections while Sandy, her special friend and husband, stood by her side, assisting her at every turn.


Diana and I were fortunate to know Ellen, fortunate to be touched by her strong spirit of life and now we mourn her passing.


When David Klein died on July 5, 2006 at the age of 38 his young soul rose to join the pantheon of men and women who were known to be honest, forthright, kind, caring, self-effacing, daring, intellectually gifted and destined to become one of the leaders of our world… who died too soon.  David never stopped being ‘cool’ in the face of adversity while debilitating, multiple cancers and other illnesses repeatedly side-tracked him and finally overwhelmed him. His determination and drive allowed him to complete his Law School studies even while he was under treatment for Hodgkin’s disease and he was weakened by his radiation and chemotherapy treatments. His grit allowed him to surmount the agonizing pain of his leg bones crumbling… finally recovering sufficiently after two experimental operations to be able to resume walking without crutches and even return to skiing and especially to recover sufficiently to bicycle across the United States from coast to coast… a challenge he undertook after completing a successful tenure in private law practice when he decided to change the course of his life and fulfill a special dream and a personal physical and mental challenge. A second cancer, a colon cancer, finally proved to be too powerful to survive, but David leaves an important legacy for us to remember him by… his memoir entitled Savoring Life in Sickness and Health

This inciteful memoir replete with David’s scary, but sometimes wonderful experiences as a patient and as a lone rider on a bicycle trip across the United States puts you inside his head and his heart as he recalls all the problems and the victories associated with his medical and surgical treatments and periods of rehabilitation. When he finally launches into his true life story of his solo bicycle ride across America  you ride with him on a journey few could ever contemplate and only a few could ever undertake and complete. “Awesome!” he says, “If  I were limited to one word to describe my solo self-contained bike trek across America it would have to be “awesome”. It was magnificent, formidable, inspiring and gratifying.”

The most important part of David’s memoir was his expression of his philosophy of life… that included  lessons for all of us to heed… and especially as he summarized in his “Conclusion.” 

“With the right perspective we should be able to appreciate life in both good and difficult times. Life is more savory when we don't take things for granted, which unfortunately is all too easily done. Life is less savory when we lose our sense of proportion and ability to identify what is and what is not a big deal. It is particularly easy to fall prey to taking things for granted when you have never experienced significant injury, illness or adversity. Those of you in this category ought to be sure to step back and appreciate what you have and what you can achieve.

My experiences have taught me that we have significant innate abilities to deal with injuries, illnesses and exceedingly difficult circumstances in healthy productive manners. In such situations we should count on ourselves as much as anyone else. As cliché as it is, once we face a difficult situation we will probably come through as stronger, better people with a greater sense of what is truly important and what is chaff. To that end it is important to distinguish between keeping a positive outlook and hoping for the best, from embracing irrationally positive expectations which can result in our making poor choices. We need to believe that exceptional results can be obtained, but have rational expectations based on our circumstances. I have faith that when we have the right perspective, reach for the extraordinary, but accept our limitations, we will achieve gratifying lives.”

As one of David’s early medical consultants and later getting to know him as a friend I weep at the loss of this young man cut down so early in the course of his life.

Mortimer J. Lacher, M.D

**Sr. Kathleen Toner, an esteemed member of the Lymphoma Foundation Board died, on November 11, 2003 and the Board members take this moment to reflect on the extraordinary life of Sr. Kathleen Toner.

In May 1978 Kathleen was diagnosed with widespread stage IVB Hodgkin’s disease. With the institution of combination chemotherapy (TVPP-Thiotepa, Velban, Prednisone and Procarbazine) and additional radiation therapy she was able to survive for 25 1/2 years until late occurring complications secondary to the radiation therapy created the progression of cardio-pulmonary failure that led to her death. Sister Toner not only contributed to the scientific literature regarding the use of unique forms of chemotherapy and the analysis of pregnancy and birth after treatment for Hodgkin’s disease but she carried out a life-long service to abused women and children as she founded and maintained a unique home for these individuals in Samaritan House in Brooklyn, New York. 

Her gentle kindness to all persons and wise counsel was deeply appreciated by all who were fortunate to know her.


What would she want us to say?  What would she want us to do about remembering her life? She would want us to be silent.  She would insist on self-effacement and quiet.  But our voices cry out and our hearts weep over the death and the loss of this gentle but powerful woman. If you can imagine how a physician can find a deep inner warmth for his patients… those who survive and those who are lost… to cancers that the physician was determined to cure… then you can imagine the intense feelings I had for Kathleen. And I was not alone in my special love for Kathleen.  I shared that love with all who knew her and who received her help in both practical and spiritual ways either as the founder and developer of Samaritan House for abused women and children or as a first-class research assistant when we worked together analyzing the data regarding the uniquely successful RT-TVPP radiation chemotherapy combination or the recording of the marvelous miracle of post-chemotherapy successful pregnancies enjoyed by so many young women or as she applied her compassionate understanding of human nature to give needed counsel to so many men, women and children in their time of woe and social desperation. In the end as in the beginning when Kathleen first appeared twenty-five years ago for treatment of her stage IV Hodgkin’s disease that had invaded her lungs and so many other parts of her body… she fought to survive … and until that final illness she repeatedly rose up from almost certain death to accomplish great societal works. It is with gratitude that we incorporate Kathleen’s example of the best in human behavior and adopt her willful presence into our own sense of being…  that allows us to carry her spirit forward in ourselves and to pass this on to our children and their children to be sure to eventually achieve the ideal world of Kathleen’s hopes and dreams.  — Mortimer J. Lacher, M.D.


Edward Spiegel
We lost a dear friend, Ed Spiegel, on Sunday, August 8, 2004 to a sudden and untimely death in an auto accident.

Ed was a caring and loving husband and father and an extraordinary role model to his children Elana and Brad and a pillar of support and devotion to his wife, Deanne, and to his large extended family and especially to his sister, Bobby, and her husband, Saul. Ed contributed his compelling energy, his compassionate nature and his personal resources to help so many of his friends, his family and countless anonymous persons who benefited from his generosity and expert knowledge.

Ed became involved with the Lymphoma Foundation a number of years after his teen age nephew, Irwin, Bobby and Saul's son, died of Hodgkin’s disease in 1977 after only a very short period of survival. Today, long survival is the rule and not the exception and that has been made possible by research derived in part from grants distributed by the Lymphoma Foundation achieved through Ed’s efforts.

Through Ed, his business associates and his friends and their steadfast financial support of a wide range of key research efforts supported in part by Lymphoma Foundation grants… persons with Hodgkin’s disease, the Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas and allied cancers of breast, colon and ovary… now enjoy a long high quality life after treatment. Some of the extraordinary and extensive research conducted over the years with assistance in part by Lymphoma Foundation grants is listed on the Publications page and the Scientist page of this website and various other sections as well. Recently, Ed became especially concerned about persons with neurofibromatosis and because of the relationship of this disorder to the lymphomas the Lymphoma Foundation extended its research grants to include basic research regarding neurofibromatosis.

In continuing recognition of our deep, personal love for Ed and appreciation for all that Ed was able to accomplish through his dedicated efforts for so many persons with lymphoma and other forms of cancer... we would like you to know that we will continue to dedicate the resources of the Lymphoma Foundation in a manner that will keep his goals in sight... to continue supporting a wide range of innovative clinical and basic cancer research and we will continue to be available to you as a source to help you find the best treatment options for your loved ones… just as Ed would have asked us to do.


There is a special note of tragedy added to the Brian Rooney Run this year (2006) because Joan Rooney, Brian's mother, who was also afflicted with a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma died in September 2005. Joan Rooney participated in the start of the Rooney Run eight years ago to raise funds for lymphoma research and she continued to participate each year to achieve its success. Joan Rooney's contribution in helping to make the Rooney Run a valuable asset... that added research grants to assist in finding the ultimate cure for all persons with lymphoma... will be missed. At the same time... the extraordinary participation and generosity of the volunteers, friends and relatives of the Rooney family and other participants and the special contribution by the Lymphoma Foundation will continue in honor of the memory of Brian and Joan Rooney.


Mortimer J. Lacher, M.D., F.A.C.P.
President, the Lymphoma Foundation
Consultant, Department of Medicine
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center





The Lymphoma Foundation is a nationwide not for profit foundation dedicated to funding clinical and basic laboratory cancer research and applying the knowledge developed by the clinician scientists for the general welfare and education of all cancer patients. 

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