Jennifer Diamond died at the age of 30 after a valiant three-year battle with appendiceal cancer, a rare form of the disease that took 10 months to diagnose. In a desperate effort to help his dying daughter, Harvey Diamond spent endless hours in libraries and on the Internet researching data and treatment options, but finally, despite amassing a great deal of information, had to tell Jenn that he “didn’t know what else to do for her.”
It was Jennifer’s dying wish that her parents, Harvey and Alice, help continue the fight against all forms of cancer and share the information they had accumulated with anyone who needed it. According to her dad, “One week before her death, Jenn signed the documents creating The Jennifer Diamond Cancer Foundation.” Harvey added, “At her funeral, we made an appeal to make a donation to the Wellness Center in Westlake Village and through the support of our friends who rallied behind us, we raised the seed money for our first event.”
Still deeply emotional, Alice said, “After Jenn’s death, we decided we would create The Jennifer Diamond Cancer Research Library in cancer outreach centers and have done so at The Wellness Community, WeSpark, Gilda’s Club and the Cancer Center at St. John’s Hospital in Oxnard.” These libraries are equipped with Apple computers, monitors, printers and a variety of books, as well as information on CD-ROM and video. “Harvey devised a computer program to make the information easily accessible,” Alice said, adding, “The foundation also funds counseling and art therapy programs for children so that they can express their sadness.”
The Diamonds have been unrelenting in fulfilling their promise to Jennifer, and their goal is to have these libraries in facilities throughout the Southland. Toward that end, last weekend they held their 5th Annual Celebrity Sailboat Regatta fundraiser at the Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey where 16 sailboats participated in the race. “Piranha” was the winning boat, and skipper and owner David Voss accepted the Jennifer Diamond Perpetual Trophy on behalf of the crew. A fun barbeque party followed the awards ceremony.
Other special fundraising events are held throughout the year. For more information, call 310.551.0800 or go to jenniferdiamondfoundation.org. Also, any Santa Monica cancer outreach center interested in having a library in their facility should contact the Diamonds directly.