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About the Lymphoma Research Foundation

Our Founders

The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) was formed in November 2001 by the merger of the Cure for Lymphoma Foundation (CFL) and the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America (LRFA). Both organizations were founded by dedicated lymphoma advocates who sought to use their personal experiences with lymphoma to benefit others with the disease.

Barbara and Jerry Freundlich

The Cure for Lymphoma Foundation (CFL) was founded in 1994 by Jerry Freundlich, a non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivor, and his wife Barbara Freundlich.

Jerry was diagnosed in 1991. In the course of just one week, he went from a routine check-up with his family doctor, to an overnight hospital stay for a biopsy, to hearing the diagnosis – acute immunoblastic large B-cell lymphoma. After successfully undergoing treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Jerry and Barbara reached out to friends and others touched by lymphoma and established CFL. Their hope was to fund research that would result in successful treatments for all lymphoma patients, and fill the need for reliable support and educational materials. At the time, information about the disease was not readily available - the internet was in its infancy – and support services for those living with a lymphoma diagnosis were limited.

With the support of Jerry's oncologist, Dr. Joseph Bertino, CFL's Scientific Advisory Board quickly grew to include the nation's leading lymphoma researchers and clinicians. The organization's Board of Directors was created at the same time, consisting of prominent business and community members, as well as representatives from the greater cancer community.

Jerry served as President of both the CFL, and LRF Board of Directors through 2003, and currently is a member of the Board's Executive Committee. Barbara served as CFL Executive Director for the first four years of the Foundation's existence. She is currently an active member of the LRF Board of Directors.

The Freundlichs are proud of all the Foundation has accomplished: "Thanks to our staff, volunteers, scientists and national network of supporters, our vision for the foundation has almost been achieved but we can't rest until there are cures for all lymphomas. Then we can close our doors forever."

Ellen Glesby Cohen

Ellen Glesby Cohen was the President and founder of the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America (LRFA), which was established in 1991.

Ellen founded LRFA as a response to her own battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. After she received her diagnosis, Ellen was discouraged by the limited information that she had access to about her disease. Noting that the incidence rate for lymphoma had nearly doubled since the 1970's, she directed LRFA to serve the needs of the lymphoma community by founding targeted projects and creating materials to educate the newly diagnosed.

In the ten years following its inception, LRFA awarded nearly $3 million to lymphoma-specific projects, and began cultivating a world-class network of physicians and researchers to contribute to this important work. Ellen also recognized the value of federally- funded research and awareness activities, and cultivated numerous legislative champions and a network of advocates.

In 2000, Ms. Cohen underwent a successful bone marrow transplant for the treatment of her lymphoma, but the treatment left her immune system weakened and vulnerable to a rare infection, which ultimately caused her death. It was her second recurrence of lymphoma, in a battle that lasted nearly a dozen years.

In Ellen's memory, LRF honors an outstanding volunteer every year with the Ellen Glesby Cohen Award, for his or her public service to the lymphoma community. Ms. Cohen continues to be missed, but LRF continues to work in her honor.