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Dr. Abeloff, Led Johns Hopkins Cancer Center

TenderIsOurMight Member Posts: 55

I did not know where to post this on our site, yet wished to let you know of a passing.

On September 14, 2007, breast cancer patients and it's community loss a valiant fighter against breast cancer. Martin D. Abeloff, M.D., 65, died of leukemia. He was Chief Oncologist and Director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Abeloff's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was twelve. His witness of her disfiguring radical mastectomy results, and lengthy, toxic treatments awakened in him a passion towards breast cancer research, resulting in groundbreakng work in breast cancer screening as a key prevention tool.

Dr. Abeloff was known by his patient's for an extraordinary kind bedside manner, non-rushed approach, which allayed many a breast cancer patient fears. He frequently providing them with his phone number for future questions or concerns. At a Hopkins event this year he was noted for saying, "You simply can't treat cancer without paying attention to the psychological and social aspects of the disease". Early in his career, he noted the stigma of a cancer diagnosis, saying "many patient's felt guilty, as if it was their fault they had cancer. This blaming-the-patient mindset was common at the time, and added to the stigma of the disease". He credited activism and advocacy on the part of patient groups with helping to reign in such thinking.

Dr. Abeloff, whose contributions to oncology are too many to list, was instrumental in facilitating Hopkin's largest single donor gift, a $150 million dollar donation from Sidney Kimmel. During his 15 years of leadership at the Center,he went on to double the Kimmel Center's number of faculty members, oversee a sixfold increase in research funding, and raise it's ranking consistently to one of the nation's top three cancer centers.

A much beloved, dedicated cancer researcher and clinician died this week of cancer. We thank him and his family for his fervent dedication to the cause, and keep them in our thoughts during this time of mourning. A candle has been lit in his memory for 48 hours at