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 and their parents with her husband, Edwin Goldstein, and Peri Kamalakar, MD, the director of three of THE VALERIE FUND Children’s Centers.

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 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’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 entered 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 doctoral 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.

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.

Awards

  • 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.


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    The Valerie Fund
    Stacy Goldstein Breast Cancer Center

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