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The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation

Eisenberg Family

In 1999, the Chicago real estate community lost one of its finest members, Harold E. Eisenberg, who rapidly succumbed to pancreatic and liver cancer. A man who is remembered as a great listener, leader, and teacher, Mr. Eisenberg was fond of saying, "It's okay to fall down. It's not okay to stay down."

In his memory and to honor his legacy, Mr. Eisenberg's children joined with family and friends to create the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation. The Foundation acts under a two-pronged mission: to fund gastrointestinal (GI) cancer research and to advance real estate education. Since its inception, the Foundation has supported cancer research at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

"Harold Eisenberg was a leader in real estate," shares Katie Hurley Wales, executive director of the Foundation. "He is the bridge between the Foundation's missions. As we carry on his legacy, our success and growth are because of him."

Through the Harold E. Eisenberg Fund for Gastrointestinal Oncology Research and the GI Cancer Tissue Bank, the Foundation has done much to advance the efforts of Al Benson, MD, professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and member of the Lurie Cancer Center. "Every time we talk with Dr. Benson and his staff, I have a deeper understanding of how our work is advancing," said Ms. Hurley Wales. "It's exciting to listen to what he is doing with personalized medicine and how his research will ultimately extend and save people's lives."

In addition to providing almost $1 million to fund GI cancer research at Northwestern, the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation has recently undertaken efforts to become a resource and touchstone for other GI cancer patients and their families. Its goal is to become an organization that patients can turn to at a time when they may feel lost or overwhelmed.

"Funding research is critical, and the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation is one of the largest GI cancer foundations," Ms. Hurley Wales shares. "If we can raise awareness, we can raise funds, and the direct result will be fewer people dying of GI cancers."