Kimberly Amsden of North Chatham is a member of the executive council of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and is leading efforts to help eradicate breast and gynecologic cancers through education, advocacy, and fundraising.
The executive council is a forum of nearly 40 women business and community leaders who are committed to helping find cures for women's cancers. It is dedicated to educating women about breast and gynecologic cancers; cultivating advocates for the Susan F. Smith Center; and raising funds to support women's cancers research at Dana-Farber
It was developed to help women in the Greater Boston area learn about women's cancers, while supporting research and treatment in the center. The group hosts two educational and fundraising events each year — a springtime breakfast in Boston and a fall luncheon in Boston's suburbs — to share progress and raise critical funds in the fight against women's cancers.
After working in an investment business with her husband, Amsden, whose family are fifth generation Cape Codders, became a “stay-at-home mom” to their two sons and active in Dover as a member of the parent teacher organization, a local church and an historical preservation program. After moving full time to North Chatham, she co-founded a luncheon and other community events in support of WE CAN in Harwich.
The origin of Amsden’s involvement with the executive council was the care and support her mother received after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1992. After seeking a second opinion and treatment at Dana-Farber, her mother lived several years more than originally expected. In time her friend Meredith Beaton-Starr, wife of Billy Starr, the founder and executive director of the Pan-Mass Challenge, encouraged her to become a member of the executive council, and in 2017 Amsden, Beaton-Starr and Pamela Martin were co-chairs of the ninth Beyond Boston Luncheon.
On Nov. 16, the executive council is hosting the 10th annual Beyond Boston luncheon in Wellesley, an interactive educational forum for women to learn the latest treatment and research development in breast and gynecologic cancers. Year after year, women who attend Beyond Boston become more informed and inspired to fund innovative research that ultimately saves lives. Since its inception in 2002, the executive council has raised more than $18 million to advance women's cancers research at the Dana-Farber Susan Smith Center and has educated thousands of women about issues in cancer prevention and treatment.
“Each year, members of the Susan F. Smith Center Executive Council raise much-needed funding for women’s cancers research, while simultaneously raising awareness of these cancers among women in our community,” said Eric Winer, chief of the Division of Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber. “The support of the executive council members has contributed greatly to breast and gynecologic cancer research here at Dana-Farber and we are thankful for their tremendous efforts.”
At this year’s Beyond Boston event, “Expanding Excellence,” Dana-Farber physician-researchers will share how they are extending their treatment and research in women’s cancers beyond Dana-Farber to communities throughout New England. Dana-Farber’s expertise and select clinical trials are now available at an increasing number of sites around the region, enabling patients to receive their care closer to home. This approach helps cancer patients spend more time with their families, less time commuting for treatment and less time out of work, all without compromising their standard of care.
“The Susan F. Smith Center, as well as the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, offer patients and their families treatment programs that are totally tailored to their needs and circumstances, addressing not only the cancer disease but the person’s whole life.” Amsden says. “They are state-of-the-art, world-class, and becoming world-wide. No longer limited to Boston, they are reaching out in ways that will allow women to receive quality care wherever they live.”
Amsden is quick to add, “We are not done yet! The Susan F. Smith Center’s research needs to continue, which is why our luncheon is not only educational but for the purpose of raising the funds it needs to continue its important work.”