By Casey Reis
On May 22, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund held its fourth annual Giving Day—an inspirational day of hope, where supporters come together as a community to raise critical funds to defy cancer. This year’s Giving Day was particularly notable, as it fell on the 75th anniversary of the radio broadcast that launched the Jimmy Fund. Supporters helped celebrate 75 years of research, discovery, and extraordinary patient care by raising over $622,000 from more than 6,200 gifts, surpassing the fundraising goal of $500,000. This success was due in part to an anonymous Dana-Farber Trustee who generously matched $250,000 of gifts to The Dana-Farber Campaign’s Defy Cancer Fund.
In the weeks leading up to Giving Day, the family of pediatric patient, Eva, shared their story with the Jimmy Fund community, encouraging supporters across the country to join Dana-Farber in its lifesaving mission. Three years ago, Eva was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and has since undergone numerous surgeries, rounds of chemotherapy, and a stem cell transplant from her twin brother. Today, thanks to cutting-edge treatment at Dana-Farber, Eva is a happy and healthy 5-year-old, with no evidence of leukemic cells.
“If it weren’t for Dana-Farber, we wouldn’t be where we are now, as a family, planning for Eva’s future,” says Laurie, Eva’s mother. “Defying cancer means finding a way. Leukemia is crafty. It’s sneaky. It hides. Our team always had a new avenue to take, a new treatment to try, and a belief that we are stronger than leukemia.”
While navigating the uncertainties surrounding her daughter’s cancer diagnosis has been difficult, Laurie is grateful to have the support of an extended network of people who love and care for Eva and her family—some of whom they’ve never met, like Giving Day donors.
As the Jimmy Fund celebrates 75 years of groundbreaking scientific discovery and lifesaving treatment, the generosity of the Giving Day community will help fuel innovation and progress so more patients like Eva can look toward a cancer-free future. The majority of the funds raised on Giving Day were directed to the Defy Cancer Fund—unrestricted funding that propels innovative early stage research; accelerates clinical trials; allows Dana-Farber to attract and retain the best researchers, clinicians, and staff; and ensures all patients have access to programs that address their physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs.