Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.
Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/506487
38 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 5 ten years after founding The Julie Fund for Women's Cancers, President Peter McAvinn's resolve is stronger than ever. "We live in Boston, the city with the best medical care in the world, and Julie was completely unaware of the signs of cancer, particularly ovarian cancer." Wellesley resident Julie McAvinn, 40 years old and mother of three small children when she got her diagnosis, noticed so many patients didn't have the support during treatment that she did. She wished for them the same level of support. Together, she and Peter outlined an organization that fights women's cancers in three spaces: education, research, and patient support. The mis- sion of The Julie Fund has remained true for a decade – and its story is one of strength, hope, courage, and selflessness. Strength The Julie Fund for Women's Cancers has impacted thousands of lives through its social services – providing rent, mortgage payments, food, transportation, clothing, utilities, and childcare to can- cer patients undergoing treatment and experiencing an unexpected financial need. Julie Fund recipient Pat Wheeler knows firsthand the "devastation of a cancer diagnosis. It is completely shocking to both the mind and the spirit. When one person is diagnosed, every person in their family is diagnosed. The Julie Fund's support allowed my husband, who is self-employed, to stay at home and be the caregiver for me and my two young children, who were three and five years old. Without The Julie Fund, he would not have been able to do that." Now a graduate student, Pat recently took her son with her to a Cancer Walk. At mile four she could tell he was fading and asked him if he wanted to stop. "No, Mommy. You fight every day against your cancer and I want to be a fighter, just like you." Hope Half the money raised by The Julie Fund goes directly to research initiatives focused on a cure for women's cancers. All projects are reviewed and endorsed by The Julie Fund's Scientific Advisory Board, led by Wellesley resident Dr. Michael Vasconcelles. The Julie Fund is currently contributing to research led by Dr. Michael Birrer, MD/PhD and Director of Gynecologic Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Birrer underscores the impact of the chosen research initiatives: "There has been a sig- nificant change in what we understand about ovarian cancer and our ability to effectively treat women with ovarian cancer. The Julie Fund for Women 's Cancers Charges into its Second Decade [ forum ] C H E R Y L L A M E E WRITER CHERYL LAMEE is Executive Director of The Julie Fund