From the moment former Institute Trustee Alan Hirschfield met Arnold Freedman, MD, in 1996, he knew he had found not only his new doctor, but a friend. Alan and his wife, Berte, knew Dana-Farber by reputation, and so when Alan was diagnosed with lymphoma, the couple came to Boston all the way from Jackson, Wyoming. Freedman impressed them so much with his compassion and expertise that they decided that he should oversee Alan’s treatment.
That was the beginning of a long and fruitful friendship between the Hirschfields and Freedman, and a long and fruitful lifetime of involvement with the Institute. In 2002, Alan was invited to join the Board of Trustees, and for many years participated in the Visiting Committee for Hematologic Oncology—now known as Dana-Farber’s Presidential Symposium—which Berte also joined and attends annually to this day.
After Alan passed away, Berte wanted to honor his legacy. She recently established an endowment to support lymphoma research conducted by early career faculty, which will be overseen by her dear friends Freedman and David Weinstock, MD, another colleague who quickly bonded with the Hirschfields. Weinstock is a Lavine Family Chair for Preventative Cancer Therapies at Dana-Farber.
“It means a great deal to me, and I know it would mean a great deal to Alan,” said Berte. “I can’t think of a better way to honor Alan and Arnie than with this gift. I have great confidence knowing Arnie and David will put the funds to the best use—they are both brilliant leaders in the field.”
The fund will be named the Alan J. Hirschfield Lymphoma Endowed Fund until Freedman retires, at which time it will be renamed the Arnold Freedman, MD, Lymphoma Endowed Fund to honor the meaningful friendship between the Hirschfields and Freedman.
“I am deeply moved by this gift from Berte,” said Freedman. “Alan was a wonderful friend to me for more than 20 years, and the Hirschfields have been truly valued supporters of the Institute for just as long. This endowment will be an incredibly important resource for the Adult Lymphoma Program for many years to come.”
The fund supports the next generation of lymphoma physician-researchers at the Institute, providing powerful momentum to one of the pillars of The Dana-Farber Campaign: investing in exceptional people. For Berte, an entrepreneur with a particular passion for startups, supporting young physician-scientists was a perfect fit.
“Over the years, when family members or close friends have had cancer, I suggest they go to Dana-Farber where I know they will have the best care, for Dana-Farber treats every patient equally,” said Berte. “Their profound understanding of the most current cancer protocols and their humane treatment of patients is unparalleled.”