Leslie's Fundraising Page

A year ago, after finishing my first marathon -- a "virtual" one during Covid
A year ago, after finishing my first marathon -- a "virtual" one during Covid

WHY I’M FUNDRAISING WITH THE DANA-FARBER MARATHON CHALLENGE TO FIGHT CANCER

In 2003, I was diagnosed with fast-growing, aggressive breast cancer. My health insurance at the time, a Harvard University employee plan, prohibited referrals out of their small network, which only included three “general” surgeons, none of whom was a breast cancer specialist. 

After a month of appeals, phone calls and letters, they said they’d allow me to have the surgery elsewhere if I paid the surgeon's fee, roughly $2000. They had recommended a skin-sparing "simple" mastectomy that would preserve part of the breast.

When I finally met Dr. Iglehart, he very cheerfully told me that would never work. I had 8cm of high-grade, HER2-neu-positive DCIS with comedo necrosis. I'd need a modified radical mastectomy and a dissection that would remove most of the lymph nodes under my right arm and leave it partially numb to this day (and, although I didn’t know it at the time, four more surgeries, reconstructive procedures and hormone therapy over the next five years). 

He didn't tell me at the time that he would refuse my money and perform the surgery pro bono, that Dana-Farber would continue to treat me for free until I was able to switch health plans, that he’d write an angry letter to Harvard saying that, as a graduate of Harvard Medical School, he was appalled their employee plan didn’t have doctors on staff with specialized knowledge of cancer. 

He only told me years later that if I’d had a simple mastectomy, I may not have survived. It was critical I had the right surgery with the right doctor because surgeons, he told me, “don’t just cut. They need to understand the disease."

Now I have a chance to pay back that surgeon’s fee, plus some interest. 

100% goes to research, specifically the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research.

Please help if you can.


PROGRESS TO GOAL

Raised:$5,920
Goal:$7,500
x56x

THANK YOU TO MY DONORS

NAME
AMOUNT
Fundraising Honor Roll
Alberto Forte
Ali Muhamad Sharari
$25
Amy Gaboriault
Andrea Hoffrichter Cohn
$50
Anonymous
$100
Anonymous
$100
Anonymous
Anonymous
$50
Bassem Mohamed
Betsy and Mitch Hayes
$100
Bruce Morgan
$100
Carla
Carol Sampson Grady
$50
Catherine O'Neill Grace
Chris Dwan and Eleanor Howe
$250
Claire Hartmann
Dean Anderson
$150
Dean Hodge & Stavros Kissonerghis
$100
Debby Kalloch
$50
Deirdre Coyle
Gaylee Selkirk
$25
Glenn Morris
$250
Jacqueline Mitchell
$100
Jen Sorrell
$100
Jen Sorrell
$100
Jo-Ann Graziano
Joe O'Farrell
Julie Steinhilber
$50
Karen Benway
Kathy Keogh
$50
Kblount@alum.mit.edu
$50
Kelt Kindick
$250
Marcia Sacco
$25
Mark Greeley & Gina Dailey
$100
Martha M Lawler
$250
Mary E Caulfield
$100
Maureen Maher
$100
Mohammad Sharari
$100
Mr. Keith Cormier
$250
Mr. William Sheehan
$250
Mrs. Paula Raleigh
Mrs. Sheila Devine
$250
Ms. Carmel Brennan
$100
Ms. Leslie A Macmillan
$50
Nancy Flynn
$50
Nikki Greene
$50
Paula Hoyt
$50
Steve Painter
$300
Steve Painter
$120
Susan Chamandy & Alden Richards
$100
Susan Smith, Cambridge, MA
$100
Tamara Sharari
$50
Tim Huggins
$250
Tracy and Kevin Geary
$150
Wendy Sorrell
$50
Zaki
$25
Pacesetter
Every dollar raised helps fuel Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's mission.
Together, we can conquer cancer!