Institute Trustee Alice Cutler and her late husband, Stephen, have been devoted members of the Dana-Farber community for decades. Through annual and major giving, Alice’s volunteer work and service on the Presidential Visiting Committees (now known as the Presidential Symposium), Board of Trustees, and the Friends of Dana-Farber, the Cutlers have been deeply involved in many of the Institute’s most important programs.
Now, with an incredible commitment of $1,007,500, Alice Cutler is helping to accelerate several key priorities of The Dana-Farber Campaign, including cancer prevention and early detection research led by Matthew Freedman, MD; research under the direction of Bruce Johnson, MD; the Presidential Initiatives Fund under the direction of President and CEO Laurie H. Glimcher, MD; and the cancer prevention efforts in Community Health led by Magnolia Contreras, MSW, MBA. Additionally, a portion of Cutler’s gift will support Volunteer Services under the direction of Senior Manager Patricia Stahl, MEd—a function Cutler holds dear as a volunteer through the Friends of Dana-Farber for 25 years.
Cutler first came to the Institute to accompany her father through his treatment for lung cancer. She recalls the compassion of his doctors, especially at a time when lung cancer was and still is stigmatized, and was impressed by the work that people like Bruce Johnson, MD, did to destigmatize the disease. That compassion inspired a lifetime commitment from Cutler.
Over the years, Cutler has developed a passion for research into early detection, which she feels is the next step in eradicating cancer.
“Years ago, when I first joined the Friends, I went to an event and there was a woman there holding a baby on her shoulder. I remember the event speaker pointed to the baby and said, ’When that baby grows up, this will be called the Dana-Farber Institute,’” said Cutler, pointedly removing the word “cancer” from the name. “We aren’t quite there yet, but I believe focusing on prevention and early detection will get us there.”
“We’ve made significant strides over the years in developing non-invasive methods to detect cancer at its earliest stages, but we still have far to go,” said Freedman. “Visionary funding like the Cutler gift accelerates our ability to create sensitive and accurate screening tools that will have a profound impact on eliminating cancer.”
Ever forward-thinking, in addition to her volunteer work and membership on various Board committees, Cutler is also member of the Dana-Farber Society, a group of visionary donors who secure future funding for cancer research and patient care with gifts through their estate plans.
“I’ve been fortunate to know Alice for a number of years, and I can say without a doubt that her loyal support, and that of the late Steve Cutler, to the Office of Clinical Trials has made a difference in the lives of our patients,” said Bruce Johnson, MD. “I’m grateful to have Alice’s continued faith in my work, and the work of my colleagues.”