Late Fall 2022
By Alison Krawczyk
In early 2022, Dr. Jean Kasmer read a story in Impact about an ovarian cancer survivor who gave to support the research of Ursula Matulonis, MD, chief of the division of Gynecologic Oncology and the Brock-Wilson Family Chair at Dana-Farber. As a recent ovarian cancer survivor herself, Jean was struck by the article and realized the effect she could have by making a gift to Dana-Farber. Along with her husband, Charles Jacobs, Jean gave $500,000 to support Matulonis’ research.
When Jean was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it was a surprise. She is herself a physician; however, this particular disease is typically difficult to diagnose in its earliest stages because symptoms can be vague or similar to those of common conditions.
“For the first year of living with my diagnosis, I was focused on adapting to being a patient and getting through my surgery and chemotherapy,” Jean said. “But I felt a sense of purpose after reading about another survivor who was using her experience to defy cancer. I knew that I wanted to support the work being done at Dana-Farber and help other patients.”
This gift from Jean and Charles will allow Matulonis the flexibility to hire staff into positions that are often not covered by government or other funding sources but are vital to research, including regulatory and research staff.
“I am very grateful to the Kasmer-Jacobs family for their gift,” said Matulonis. “Philanthropy is key to sustaining our research efforts and can have a major impact on the care of patients at Dana-Farber and around the world.”
As parents and grandparents, Jean and Charles hope that by supporting Dana-Farber they can help patients today, but also inspire the next generation. “We see this gift as an investment in the future,” the couple said, “and we hope that we might inspire someone else to also support the work at Dana-Farber.”