Liz Smith, journalist and
literary advocate, with
luncheon co-chair
Janet Hershaft.
Fighting Cancer Scourge
One Patient at a Time

By Tim Boxer

NINE-YEAR-OLD girl in Philadelphia had a rare form of melanoma. Doctors wouldn’t treat her because they had no effective therapy. They told her parents she wouldn’t last the year.

Her parents frantically called doctors all around the country. Each one concurred that the prognosis is right and there was no hope for the child.

The little girl’s uncle in New York heard about the tumor vaccine program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He called the director, Dr. Howard Kaufman.

Bonnie Englebardt, luncheon
co-chair, and Congresswoman
Nita Lowey.

The uncle persuaded him to see the niece who was doomed to die in six months.

Kaufman took her into his program. He saw the girl again three years later, last June, at her bat mitzvah.

“There is hope and we are fighting this, one patient at a time,” Kaufman said at a recent luncheon of the Einstein College women’s division. “We have developed 25 new vaccines which we are testing and hope to get into the market soon.”

He said that 50 percent of all cancers are curable, and promised to report at a future luncheon that “we’ve taken care of the other 50 percent.”

Blythe Danner, who’s always been timid, said her husband, Bruce Paltrow, had radiation twice a day for cancer, was fed through a tube in his stomach, and still managed to direct a film.

Carol Furman (from left), Marie Brenner
and Blythe Danner.

“After that experience,” she said, “I’m not timid anymore.”

Danner shared honors with author Marie Brenner, fashion designer Pamela Dennis, primo columnist Liz Smith, philanthropist Peggy Tishman and Rep. Nita Lowey at the Spirit of Achievement Luncheon emceed by actor Tony Roberts at the Waldorf-Astoria.

Each had her own story. Dennis, who was awed by her fellow awardees and felt like “a pisherkeh” beside them, said her father succumbed to cancer six years ago.

Brenner’s mother died of the same thing 11 years ago. Lowey lost her mother to the scourge 20 years ago.

Alice Kent (from left), national president;
luncheon co-chair Janet Hershaft, New
York chapter president Arlene Fisher,
and luncheon co-chair
Bonnie Englebardt.

The luncheon, under the direction of Bonnie Englebardt, Janet Hershaft, Alice Kent and Arlene Fischer, raised $250,000 to benefit Kaufman’s cancer vaccine research.

[ Back to Top ]


Copyright©1999 -
15 Minutes Magazine, Inc.

Site Designed, Developed and Maintained by
Internet Web Systems Internet Consultants - Web Site Design -  Website Hosting
Any questions or comments regarding this website, or if you would like one of your own,
please contact us at