The loved ones of Jennifer Hunter Yates have transformed their grief into hope for many. In April 2004, after a courageous, 17-month battle, Jennifer succumbed to two late-stage sarcomas at age 33. Her friends and family as well as members of the Mass General Cancer Center’s sarcoma team created the Jennifer Hunter Yates Sarcoma Foundation to find a cure for this rare disease.
Weeks after Jennifer’s death, her hometown, Hudson, Mass., held its first annual 12,402 Steps to Cure Sarcoma Walk. The foundation presented Jennifer’s oncologist, David Harmon, MD, with a check tenfold larger than any he had ever received for sarcoma research. Now in its fifth year, the walk has raised $450,000 for Dr. Harmon’s research.
The foundation has challenged and empowered the MGH sarcoma team to sponsor educational seminars, open more clinical trials and add staff, including a foundation scholar. While helping Dr. Harmon and his team find a cure, the foundation also provides volunteers who support patients as they fight and recover from sarcoma.