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We acknowledge the loss of people who helped create Break Through Cancer, many of whom have died of cancer. We act with urgency in their memory. In particular, Break Through Cancer was conceived with Hunter Goodwin’s encouragement, advice, and counsel. We hope Break Through Cancer will serve as a beacon of hope for all patients and families who face what is today a hopeless diagnosis.


Hunter Goodwin
Patient, partner, hero – As told by Break Through Cancer President, Tyler Jacks: I got to know Hunter Goodwin under incredibly sad circumstances. He was diagnosed with quite advanced cancer and asked me for advice about what he might do for his own treatment. As we began the discussion, it branched out into what we were doing in the plans for the foundation that is today Break Through Cancer. Hunter became extremely interested. I had several conversations with him about what we were thinking of doing and he helped me think it through. He helped me determine where our priorities should be and how we might want to structure things. He became a partner and a friend. Despite receiving the very best treatments available, he passed away from his disease several months later. Before Hunter died, he made a significant financial commitment to Break Through Cancer. Hunter’s memory motivates us to go as far as we can and do the best we can for all patients.

David Livingston

David Livingston, MD, was a founding father of Break Through Cancer: his conviction that bringing institutions together would speed cancer research is the bedrock of the Foundation. He died suddenly on October 17, 2021.

David was the Emil Frei Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Medicine at HMS and DFCI, and the director of The Charles A. Dana Division of Human Cancer Genetics. He was deputy director of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (2000-2019) and served as director and Physician-in-Chief of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (1991-1995). David’s lab at Dana-Farber focused on molecular cancer science, where he mentored countless trainees, including 2019 Nobel Laureate William G. Kaelin, Jr., MD.

He received his AB, cum laude, from Harvard and his MD, magna cum laude, from Tufts Medical School. David joined the Harvard and DFCI faculties as Assistant Professor of Medicine in 1973, where he served for 45 years. He also served as chair of the Board of Scientific Advisors at the National Cancer Institute (1995-1999), was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Academy.



Break Through Cancer was created in February 2021 with an extraordinary matching gift of $250,000,000. Every gift to the Foundation supports groundbreaking cancer research and helps us to meet our matching commitment.

For questions about giving please email Lisa Schwarz, Chief Philanthropy Officer at

Break Through Cancer
101 Rogers Street
Suite 3A
Cambridge, MA 02142