Beth and Marc Goldberg

Investing in Hope

"Pediatric cancers are considered rare diseases, but they aren't rare when they strike your family," reflects Marc Goldberg. In 1988, Mr. Goldberg and his wife, Beth, lost their 14-year-old son, Michael, to a pediatric lymphoma.

We wanted to help future patients and their families have better results — to survive this disease and go on to lead full lives together.

—Marc Goldberg

"Michael received excellent care at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and we were truly grateful," Mr. Goldberg says. "We wanted to help future patients and their families have better results — to survive this disease and go on to lead full lives together."

With the strong support of their daughters, Laura and Leslie, Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg established two complementary planned gifts to accomplish their goal. Initially, they gave a gift, which will create a substantial research endowment upon their deaths. These funds will be directed to the most promising basic, clinical, and translational research in pediatric lymphomas.

"However, we didn't want to wait to make an impact — there are families who need better answers today, so we chose to contribute during our lifetimes," Mr. Goldberg explains. To that end, the Goldbergs also established a trust, which makes an annual gift in support of a research fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

"When Michael was being treated, his whole body received medicine — healthy cells were killed along with the cancer cells," Mr. Goldberg remembers. "The new generation of cancer therapies being developed and tested in clinical trials at Memorial Sloan Kettering is much more targeted — protecting healthy tissue and pinpointing disease. Along with higher remission rates, children can avoid many long-term side effects of treatment."

The Goldbergs also realize that because pediatric cancers affect fewer patients than adult cancers, traditional sources of research funding such as pharmaceutical dollars and government grants can be difficult to obtain. "Philanthropy is particularly crucial for pediatric research," Mr. Goldberg says. "We felt a responsibility to step forward in a tangible and meaningful way — for Michael, for our daughters, and for every other family who will experience childhood cancer."

Memorial Sloan Kettering gratefully acknowledges their visionary commitment to the Center's future and recognizes them as members of the Cullum Society.

Click here to read other inspiring stories of support.

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