Donor Spotlight

Force would like to acknowledge the donors of the Legacy Circle Planned Giving Society

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Donor Spotlight


Donor Spotlight Archive

Funding support for future generations through fine art

“Flowers always make people feel better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”  These words of American botanist Luther Burbank ring true for artist and FORCE donor Evelyn Philipps of Bethesda, Maryland.  Since retiring from her career as a social worker, she has dedicated herself to her art: a collection of watercolor paintings of colorful flowers and serene landscapes that, without doubt, uplift the people who appreciate her work. 

When Evelyn’s mother passed away from pancreatic cancer many years ago, it never crossed minds that it may have been due to an underlying hereditary mutation.  Many years later, in 2015, that reality hit home.  Evelyn’s oldest daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer.  That event spurred family members to undergo genetic testing.

Testing revealed that both Evelyn and her oldest daughter carry a hereditary mutation.

“We were so fortunate our family received excellent care,” notes Evelyn.  “We are also grateful to an oncologist with the National Institutes of Health who introduced us to FORCE.”

Her daughter underwent treatment and received excellent care, according to Evelyn.  For her own personal outlet during a time of stress and concern for her family, creating her art became even more important to Evelyn.  After the crisis was over, Evelyn realized that there was an audience of buyers.

“I began selling my work to friends and neighbors,” says Evelyn.  “To my surprise, it sold very well and I began using the proceeds as donations to FORCE.”  The work that brings her joy and peace is literally helping to support research and others who are touched by hereditary cancer mutations. 

“My daughter is healthy now, but I worry about the future generations,” notes Evelyn.  “I know how hard it can be to come to terms with the knowledge that there is a higher risk of cancer in one’s family.  I want FORCE to succeed in finding better therapies and treatments for people in the future.  I donate to help make that happen.”

While quiet and unassuming, Evelyn is making a very real difference to FORCE.  We thank Evelyn and our many thoughtful, generous donors who help to support current and future generations through their philanthropy.

For questions and information on major and planned giving, please contact Marcy Rubic at or (866) 288-7475 ext. 715.

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