FORCE is grateful to all those who give generously to help further our mission. We are especially thankful for a committed group of individuals and family foundations that have supported FORCE in a significant way.
FORCE honors their dedication to the hereditary cancer community by recognizing those who have given cumulative donations of $100,000 or more through the Lifetime Giving Society.
"FORCE has accomplished so much, broadened its scope, touched so many more BRCA carriers and their families. We fully support FORCE’s broader agenda and hope many other families will become committed donors."
I went to my first FORCE conference about a dozen years ago. I decided to become a donor when I realized how much FORCE was doing, at that time, with such modest means. I was so impressed with what important and lifesaving work Sue, with a few volunteers, was able to do. There was no other organization doing that work and addressing that need.
For personal reasons I decided to get more involved. I have a strong family history of breast and ovarian cancer and I was concerned about my son and daughter. My mother and grandmother both died, at an early age from ovarian cancer.
It’s true that there are a lot of wonderful organizations in need of support but BRCA and this organization has touched my family. Of course, I hope that in the future there will be interventions that can change the course of this condition for BRCA carriers, my five-year-old granddaughter for one, if she has the BRCA gene.
We are very glad to have contributed to the growth of FORCE. Our involvement has come a long way from chatting with Sue in the corridors of a conference center. FORCE has accomplished so much, broadened its scope, touched so many more BRCA carriers and their families. We fully support FORCE's broader agenda and hope many other families will become committed donors.
"In the days after Elise died one of my close friends said to me: ‘Everything you do should celebrate your sister, who wanted to live so much. It is imperative to carry her legacy forward.’ And that is what I have tried to do in the years since she died. Endowing The Elise Shapira Memorial Fund, and knowing all the good it does for so many women and their families who face what Elise did, has been deeply rewarding. I know it would make my sister happy."
Maralee’s younger sister Elise was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 and ovarian cancer at age 50, fighting a decade-long battle until she died in 2011. For years, Elise urged Maralee to be tested for the familial BRCA mutation—and for years, Maralee delayed. Finally agreeing to be tested, days before Elise died Maralee learned that she too was positive for a BRCA1 mutation.
Elise connected with FORCE after she was diagnosed and learned that she was BRCA1 positive. The inspiration and support that she received from FORCE was transformative for Elise and her family, who attended local Chicago meetings, as well as national conferences. Knowledge of her BRCA mutation was Elise’s final gift to Maralee. Maralee’s gift to her sister is the Elise Shapira Memorial Fund, a FORCE endowed fund that provides scholarship dollars to FORCE conference attendees and supports the FORCE mission. Maralee Schwartz has been a FORCE donor since 2013. Her greatest desire for FORCE is for the organization to be better known for its role in educating the public about hereditary cancers and offering support.
The Saul & Theresa Esman Foundation
"Because we care ...the footprints we leave behind are our legacy."
Theresa Esman established SATEF in 2008 after the passing of her beloved husband of almost fifty years, Saul. The Foundation was created to focus on local South Florida charities that support research or treat diseases that are rare and/or underfunded.
Saul was a man of tremendous character, perseverance, hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit. Together the Esman's built an extremely successful sporting goods business in Pittsburg, PA before selling the business in 1979 and retiring in Miami, FL. Theresa Esman, at 93 years old residing in Bal Harbour remained an integral part of the charitable giving and told people "My husband wanted the benefits of his hard work to help people. We fund research that will be good for mankind long after I'm gone." Mrs. Theresa Esman passed away on March 17, 2017 and today the Foundation continues to fulfill her wishes.
Murray Levin, Chairman of the Board and President of the Foundation was a close personal friend of Saul and Theresa Esman. He is passionate about the organizations they support and is very hands on with the supported programs where possible. Mr. Levin feels that it is imperative to raise awareness of all the rare diseases and that education is critical to the progression towards prevention, maintenance and/or a cure. As a former World Champion weightlifter, 20 yr PAN American President, 13 yr US Weightlifting President, founder of women's weightlifting 30 years ago and a World War II Veteran he knows a thing or two about getting things done - that is why his nickname is "Hurry Murray!"
Mr. Levin, Katie Boeck - VP of Charitable & Corporate Communications and Steven Levin- VP/Secretary, meet several times a year with the charity executives in order to stay on top of the successes and lend a hand throughout the challenges they may encounter throughout their funding period. FORCE greatly appreciates the continued support of the Saul & Theresa Esman Foundation.