Sophie Stenbeck | Stenbeck Foundation Fights Ovarian Cancer
Philanthropist Fights Ovarian Cancer - CRI
mother, Merrill, to ovarian cancer in 2006.
In 2009, her
family's foundation awarded $1 million to CRI
to support its ovarian cancer research efforts.
Sophie Stenbeck, president of the Stenbeck Foundation, lost her mother to ovarian cancer in 2006.
In 2009, the Stenbeck Family's foundation
awarded $1 million to the Cancer Research Institute
to support CRI's
ovarian cancer research efforts.
Sophie Stenbeck, together with sister Cristina and brother Max, established the Stenbeck Foundation as a way to combine their extensive philanthropic work and achieve greater impact.
According to Sophie, who presently serves as president of the Foundation, its mission is to honor causes that are close to the siblings' hearts as well as causes that were important to their parents.
Among the Foundation's main interests are research-based medical developments, primarily in early disease detection.
The importance of medical research to the Stenbeck family
is readily understood: a heart attack claimed their father's life at age 59 in 2002, and four years later their mother, Merrill, lost her
battle with ovarian cancer within a year of her
"For our first grant," Sophie
explained in an interview with CRI
, "we wanted to choose causes that truly honored our parents.
For my mother, obviously, that was an ovarian cancer study.
Right away we felt we wanted to do something that would potentially save lives and prevent others from experiencing what happened to her
According to Sophie
, doctors didn't detect her
mother's cancer until after the disease had already progressed to an advanced stage.
underwent aggressive treatments with chemotherapy in an attempt to bring her
cancer under control.
"It was very, very difficult for me to watch her
go through that," Sophie
"CRI immediately felt different from other organizations," Sophie
"Dr. Odunsi is incredible," Sophie said of her meeting in 2008 with him, CRI executive director Jill O'Donnell-Tormey, and other CRI staff.