Leadership in Philanthropy Award | Page 2 | Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation (AAMDSIF) Return to top.

Leadership in Philanthropy Award

Recipients are acknowledged for their financial support, whether through personal charitable giving, or as a result of outstanding achievement in fundraising.

2016 William P. Shulevitz

Bill Shulevitz, an AAMDSIF board member from 2013 to 2015, was diagnosed with MDS in 1999.  Active in the New York business community, Bill has had many accomplishments, including founding the Cadillac Uniform and Linen Supply Inc. and serving as a management consultant and financial planner.

His wife Marion is a rabbi who works at the Amsterdam Nursing Home in New York. They have been generous supporters of AAMDSIF, as well as numerous Jewish communities.

2015 Lois Gaynor

A longtime Ambassador for the Foundation, Lois established the Amy Gaynor Research Fund in tribute to her daughter who lost her battle with aplastic anemia in 1977 at the age of 15.

2013 Edward P. Evans Foundation

Charitable foundation

The Edward P. Evans Foundation has been awarded the Leadership in Philanthropy award in recognition for its support of the AAMDSIF MDS Clinical Research Consortium.

Established in 2012, the MDS Clinical Research Consortium consists of 6 leading medical institutions that collaborate on unique clinical trials to advance treatments and improve outcomes for patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The Consortium fills a major gap in MDS-related clinical research in the U.S. by providing a new “critical mass” of patients and patient data to support the evaluation of promising new compounds, epidemiological studies and translational studies leading to new classifications, treatments and procedures. This expanded access to patient data, tissue samples and the use of a standardized patient work-up enhances research and leads to accelerated outcomes that are potentially beneficial for patients. 

The Edward P. Evans Foundation, whose primary mission is to support transformational and collaborative medical research in the areas of myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia, supported the five-year, $16 million initiative. This funding is believed to be the largest single award ever given in support of MDS clinical research.

2011 Earl J. Goldberg Chapter of AAMDSIF

For over 30 years, the friends of Allen and Harriet Goldberg raised money in honor of their son, Earl, who passed away at the age of 14 from aplastic anemia.  Some of the $171,000 they raised supported an AAMDSIF Research Grant to Dr. Seth Corey of UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center for his study of the effects of an enzyme on controlling the demise of blood cells. Earl and his family inspired patients, families and friends across Chicago and nationwide to raise awareness and support to fight this bone marrow failure disease. As AAMDSIF has grown to reach more people than ever before, and local chapters are being transformed into Community Connections, we want to pay tribute to the generosity, leadership and commitment of everyone involved over the years in this tremendous volunteer effort.

2010 Jo Alley and the Volunteers of AAMDSIF Michigan

Led by Jo Alley and her husband, Ron, this dedicated group of volunteers has raised almost $125,000 through their fundraising events over the past 15 years including their Boot, Scoot and Boogie evening and the sales of holiday cards raising awareness about bone marrow failure diseases.  This tight-knit group of patients, families and friends continues its work in memory of loved ones lost to these diseases including Jo and Ron’s son Shawn – a 25-year aplastic anemia survivor who lost his battle in 2010.

2009 Mary Ellen & William Madden

Mary Ellen and Bill Madden, and their family, have given with unparalleled generosity to AAMDSIF over the past two decades since they lost their daughter Mary Pat Madden-Grieshaber to aplastic anemia. They, along with son, Marty Madden and daughter, Margie Ward, have been champions of AAMDSIF since its early days.

Lead Photo

2008 JoAnn and Don Yahn

JoAnn and Don Yahn have raised more than $200,000 over the past decade in memory of their daughter, Torry, who battled aplastic anemia as a teenager.  The Torry Yahn Research Study grants funds for medical research to find a cure for aplastic anemia.  Beyond their extraordinary fundraising efforts that culminate in their Annual Chicken BBQ and Auction, their compassion serves as a lifeline and source of strength for families facing bone marrow failure disease.

2008 JoAnn Yahn

The Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation brought together two extraordinary women – JoAnn Yahn and Dr. Lisa Minter – who both lost daughters to aplastic anemia and have contributed through volunteerism, philanthropy and scientific research to find cures for bone marrow failure diseases.  These two women met for the first time at the AA&MDSIF’s 25th Anniversary Dinner. 
JoAnn Yahn, from Upstate New York, lost her 20-year old daughter Torry to aplastic anemia in 1997.  She has since turned tragedy into opportunity, raising more than $230,000 for research through an annual hometown barbecue.  Her fundraising created the “Torry Yahn Research Study Award,” which will be awarded this year to Dr. Lisa Minter, who also lost her 13-year old daughter Stephanie Phakos to aplastic anemia in 1995.  Dr. Minter, who works at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, is considered to be both an outstanding independent investigator and highly motivated to translate basic findings into clinical practice.  She has dedicated her career to finding treatment options to this disease that took her daughter’s life. 

2007 Shizue Spielberg

Mrs. Spielberg’s generosity established the Harold Spielberg Research Fund at AAMDSIF in 1998.  Thanks to both her personal contributions and that of her company, Vibratex, Inc., several scientific researchers have received grants honoring her late husband, Harold, who passed away from MDS.