Sylvester family carries on father’s and grandfather’s legacy
By Stacey Bomser
Photography by Sonya Revell
Jayne Malfitano, Laura Sylvester and Jena Smith
Sylvester’s expansion has also been fueled by research and innovation. That is an area the Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation will continue to focus on in the future. Along with Dolphins Challenge Cancer, the Foundation recently gave a substantial gift to help fund the Sylvester Dolphins Challenge Cancer Living Proof Endowed Chair in Cancer Survivorship, as well as to support Sylvester survivorship funds for research and clinical services.
Having seen how cancer impacts families, hers included, Jena appreciates this commitment to enhancing survivorship efforts. She also values the groundbreaking discoveries Sylvester scientists are making towards finding life-saving treatments.
“I hope there will be more cures and preventative options for people not to go through this in the first place,” said Jena. “As a legacy, what we hope Sylvester will continue in honor of our grandfather and parents is that they stay true to their goals of providing the best care possible and advancing research to create a world without cancer.”
While the family acknowledges there is much more work to be done, they all share the sentiment that their father and grandfather would be proud to see his vision become a reality at the world-renowned Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. They pledge to continue to support Sylvester and its endeavor.
“The Sylvester family has been stalwart supporters of our mission to drive clinical cancer care, promote prevention and early detection research, and advance treatments in our relentless pursuit of cures,” said Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., who is also the Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and executive dean of research at the Miller School. “We will forever be grateful for their generosity, passion, and partnership.”
The Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation is a staunch supporter of not just Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center but also UM and UHealth. The Foundation recently made a gift to the School of Nursing and Health Studies to fund training and research to prevent human trafficking. In total, the Foundation has given more than $62 million to Sylvester and the University of Miami.