Jefferson Surgical Solutions

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Those Who Give


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Surgery Commons



Making a Difference One Donation at a Time

Not all gifts to Jefferson Surgery come from a single philanthropic individual. Sylvia Berman, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, is working tirelessly to encourage others to make a difference. Her daughter, Susan Sillars, has been a patient of Charles J. Yeo, MD, for many months now, having been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Tragically, Mrs. Berman was already familiar with the disease, which claimed the life of her husband 14 years ago.

Last March, Dr. Yeo removed a portion of Susan’s tumor so that it could be studied as part of the progressive research being done by Jonathan Brody, PhD. His laboratory has run countless assays on DNA purified from her cancer cells in search of identifying a genetic defect. Such studies will lay the ground work for tailored adjuvant therapy for pancreatic cancer patients.

During this difficult time, Mrs. Berman has taken it upon herself to raise funds to support Dr. Brody’s research. So far she has raised over $32,000. "Because of this support, we have been able to scrutinize Mrs. Sillars’ tumor on the molecular level. Our hope is that this information will aid her family and other pancreatic cancer patients," says Dr. Brody.

"The information that is out there can be overwhelming, and finding a surgical team who saw things differently and could offer us a new alternative has been profoundly helpful," says Mrs. Berman. "It’s inspiring to see that our network of family and friends has offered so much kindness and compassion as well as financial support. It goes to show that combining the generosity of many – no matter how small the amounts – can make a big difference."

To make a contribution to the Susan Sillars Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research, please visit http://www.jefferson.edu/surgery/giving.cfm.

In Gratitude for Exceptional Care

Anna Hotz, a Medford, NJ, native, has made a gift to the Jefferson Breast Care Center in honor of her doctors Anne Rosenberg, MD, and Stephen Copit, MD. The commitment became a family affair when her sons Jack, Steven, and Chuck matched her contribution with winnings from a Cape May, NJ, fishing tournament in April 2006.

Mrs. Hotz is grateful for the excellent care she received and the personal relationships she developed with her physicians. "Dr. Rosenberg, for all of her accolades and reputation in the field of breast cancer, is a very regular, low-key person," says Mrs. Hotz. "And Dr. Copit is very passionate with his patients and about his practice. He treated me like one of my own sons would treat me."

The Hotz family gift supports the new Jefferson Breast Care Center, where patients can receive information, counseling, and other support throughout their care in one location.

To make a gift to the Department of Surgery, please contact Lara Allan Goldstein at 215-955-8797 or Lara.AllanGoldstein@jefferson.edu .