Chicago North Shore Moms Meet a Mom series time! We are pleased to introduce you to Glenview mama of two beautiful teenage girls, Allyson Marks Greenfield. Ally is certainly making her “mark” on society with her advocacy in cancer research. A 9+ year survivor herself, Allyson is the Executive Director for Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF), a nonprofit making significant waves in the race to cure cancers for all mankind! Please meet Allyson….
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I was Born in the Bronx, raised in Louisville, KY and I’ve been in Glenview for the last 20 years.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
Two beautiful daughters, 15 and 13
One thing people should know about you…
I am a breast cancer survivor. Celebrating 9-1/2 years cancer free! I underwent a double Mastectomy, 4 rounds of Chemotherapy (lost all my hair which was a bit traumatic), and continue to take oral medication. Praying cancer free forever and always!
Favorite mom hack?
Listening at the bottom of the stairs to kids conversations!
Favorite place to take the kids?
Gospel Brunch at House of Blues or Second City Improv
Guilty pleasure (ie. Food, desert, snack, hobby)?
Go-to cosmetic “tired eraser”?
Clarins Concealer works like a miracle!
Favorite family movie?
Favorite book for you?
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Favorite Children’s book?
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
My mom, she is my number #1 confidant and supporter. Very blessed!
Your best piece of advice…
Patience, Praise and Purpose are three words that can lead to success, personal gratification and happiness!
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, nonprofit, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Yes! I am the Executive Director of the Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF). ICRF is a nonprofit organization with a mission to support cancer research programs in Israel, for the benefit of Israel and all mankind. ICRF-funded researchers have been making significant progress and have been able to develop improved chemotherapies, advanced techniques in bone marrow transplantation, and an enhanced understanding of tumor suppressor genes. I hope you’ll check out the many achievements that ICRF is so proud to have helped fund. My goal is to raise enough awareness and funds for the Israel Cancer Research Fund so no one has to hear the words “you have cancer” in the future.
What was the inspiration behind the formation of ICRF?
The inspiration came from its visionary founder, Dr. Daniel G. Miller, who made two critical observations when he visited Israel in the early 70s: the exodus of talented Israeli scientists, due to the lack of funding, and the opportunity to stem that exodus by providing financial support to the brilliant and talented women and men to enable them to remain in Israel and harness her rich resources for cancer research!
What’s on the horizon for ICRF? Any new therapies coming down the pipeline that you can speak about?
ICRF funds approximately 80 Israeli scientists annually. Over our 40+ years, we have provided over $70m totaling 2500 grants. Most recently, scientists from the following labs are being funded by ICRF:
- Tel Aviv University – they discovered a new immunotherapy target for patients with colorectal cancer
- Chaim Sheba – studying breast cancer patients to characterize and analyze their intestinal bacterial content in the context of their cancer’s clinical presentation in response to therapy
- Bar-Ilan – has discovered a new mechanism for activating the immune system to attack cancer cells, effective for lethal cancers — lung and melanoma.
What inspires regular people to give to ICRF? Why should the general public care about keeping scientists in Israel?
Those touched by cancer are eager to find a cure, and they recognize that Israel is made up of the most innovative and brightest scientists worldwide. Most want to support our work because of how dedicated Israel is to finding cures for cancer, we have a proven record that our funded scientists research has led to major developments, including a drug called Velcade, that is used to fight multiple myeloma. Additionally, overhead costs in Israel are significantly lower, and our grants go directly to the researcher without any university or research institute overhead reduction. Our research if focused on fundamentals, and we have a very thorough and careful expert scientific review panel, making sure we are supporting the best of the best!