Suzann Bresler Goldstein is a memoirist, a freelance writer and a poet. She posts essays and poems to her blog www.unexpectedlives.com and has just finished her memoir, WHY US? One Mother’s Story (working title). She will soon be working on a book about children with cancer and blood disorders with her husband, Edwin Goldstein, and Peri Kamalakar, MD, the director of three of THE VALERIE FUND Children’s Centers in New Jersey.

Suzann  was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut and attended Bridgeport’s public schools and the University of Connecticut. She dropped out of the academic world at the end of her sophomore year and returned home, her scholarly interests at UConn overcome by the university’s inordinately active social life.

Six months later, Suzann moved to New York City with friends from college. While there she met, and following a brief dating period, married the love of her life, Ed Goldstein. They soon became a full-fledged family by adding two children to their lives, Stacy in 1964 and Valerie in 1966.

In 1969, three-year-old Valerie was diagnosed with bone cancer. She died six years later in January 1976. One month later, in February 1976, Suzann and Ed established THE VALERIE FUND (TVF) www.thevaleriefund.org  in their daughter Valerie’s memory. TVF is an organization that supports comprehensive health care for children with cancer and blood disorders. Today, there are seven TVF Children’s Centers located in major hospitals in New Jersey, the Philadelphia area and New York City. These Centers, together, form one of the largest networks of hospital-based outpatient healthcare facilities for children with cancer and blood disorders in the nation. TVF also supports Camp Happy Times, a free week-long summer camp for children with cancer.

In 1981, when Stacy was seventeen, a fresh interest in academics urged Suzann to add non-traditional student to her New Jersey schedule. She enrolled in Somerset County Community College, received her Associate of Arts degree with honors, transferred to Douglass College and in 1984, while in her junior year, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1985, she was awarded the Bachelor of Arts degree with highest honors.

Continuing her education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Suzann received her Master of Arts degree in sociology, then was accepted into the Rutgers PhD program in medical sociology. In addition to the other busy parts of her life as well as her studies, she worked in the sociology department as a research assistant and practiced as a medical sociologist outside the university.

Suzann left graduate school before completing the last of her PhD course work to care for Stacy who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1989 at the age of twenty-five. Stacy died twelve years later in 2001.

In October 2004, Suzann and Ed held the all-day Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Symposium with main speaker Susan Love, M.D.

The breast cancer center at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey (RCINJ), in collaboration with Suzann and Ed, was renamed in memory of Stacy, and is now called the STACY GOLDSTEIN BREAST CANCER CENTER at RCINJ, www.cinj.org/treatment/breast_oncology.html . RCINJ is the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and is dedicated to cancer research and the clinical care of patients with cancer. It is one of only 45 such cancer centers in the nation.

In May 2015, Suzann was the recipient of the Woman of Achievement Award from The State Federation of Women’s Clubs.

In October 2014, Suzann was inducted into The Douglass Society, an honor given by the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College to those whose life’s work embodies exceptional accomplishments and leadership.

In mid June 2013, Suzann and Ed were awarded The Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis Jefferson Award for Public Service.

In early June 2013, Suzann and Ed received the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award in Public Service.

In March 2012, Suzann was chosen as the Somerset County Woman of The Year for Public Service.

In 2011, Suzann was awarded the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s University Medal of Excellence.

In September 2010, Suzann was appointed to the Foundation Board of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

In 2003, Suzann was appointed to the New Jersey State Child Placement Review Board.

In 1992, Suzann was appointed to the New Jersey State Department of Health Parental and Child Health Advisory Committee.

In 1991, The New Jersey State Department of Health chose Suzann as the recipient for the Albert Harrison Award for Extraordinary Commitment to Services for Children With Special Health Needs.

In 1984, Suzann received the Douglass College Student Cooperative Bookstore Merit Award for Outstanding Achievement in a Major Field of Study.


  • My Faith My Way
  • The Grief That Howls






15 Responses to “ABOUT THE AUTHOR”

  1. Connie Brown says:

    You write beautifully, with such warmth. I am so glad I now know about your blog. I am sure I will visit it regularly.

  2. Amy Oravec says:

    I somehow came across your Web site and recently learned about your daughter Stacy and became immediately saddened. I was friends with Stacy and Valerie in the 1970s (from Camp Hi-Hills). . . . I look forward to reading your book about your girls.

    Kind regards,


    • Suzann says:


      I’m so sorry you had to learn about Stacy from a website, but glad you made contact. It’s always wonderful to hear from long-ago friends. Thanks for your comment. It was much appreciated.


  3. Jose Tshudy says:

    Great site!!!

  4. Lucille Taub says:

    I am going to make a donation to the Stacey fund in honor of Joan Polskin who lived in N. Plainfield and is celebrating her 90th birthday. She had breast cancer 2 years ago.

    Merrill and Lucy Taub


  5. Lenore Velinsky-Stravitz says:

    Found your writings and enjoyed your easy and enjoyable prose.

  6. Jayna says:

    Hi Sue,
    I was good friends with Stacy in high school. I was very sad when we lost her in 2001. I have lived in CA for the last 18 years. This year is our 30th high school reunion. A bunch of us are getting together in Plainfield this weekend. We are rekindling old friendships and memorializing Stacy, Paula and several other special angels we lost from our small class. I hope your writing has helped you heal and we wish you many more years of writing and happiness. Good for you for following your dream and your heart.

  7. Maria says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your two sweet girls. When will the book be available?

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