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2017 Annual Report


Individuals have the power to address some of the most vexing health challenges of today. Supporting the FNIH with unrestricted donations allows the FNIH to leverage and strategically deploy funds where they are most needed. Further, donors may wish to support specific areas of interest — from research in certain diseases to patient care.

Andrew Lee

At age 22, Andrew Lee is driven. Following his HLRCC diagnosis, Andrew established the not-for-profit Driven to Cure, Inc. He now travels the country attending car events to raise visibility and funding for rare kidney cancers.

Andrew Lee, Driven to Cure Inc. President

“When I was diagnosed with stage 4 HLRCC rare kidney cancer at age 19, I was told I had six to 12 months to live. I was immediately accepted to the HLRCC trial at the NIH in June of 2015. I know and understand there is currently no known cure for HLRCC, but without the research happening today, we would not help those who will be in need tomorrow.” – Andrew Lee PRESIDENT OF DRIVEN TO CURE, INC.

In December 2017, Andrew presented a $100,000 check to Maria C. Freire, Ph.D., FNIH President and Executive Director. This donation, in addition to a $200,000 gift made in 2016, will further cutting-edge research on rare kidney cancer conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the NIH Clinical Center.

“Thanks to FNIH’s mission, the needed funding can be targeted to the research of rare cancers like HLRCC. We look forward to working with the FNIH in the years ahead to help fund other rare cancers and diseases in order to help more patients,” said Andrew. Learn more at

Buffy Cafritz

The cultural and philanthropic contributions of Buffy Cafritz are ever present around the country, especially just 10 miles north of Washington, D.C. on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD.

Buffy Cafritz, Honorary Trustee, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

“It has been a pleasure to support the FNIH throughout the years to further pioneering biomedical research, crucial student training and activities that help heroic patients participating in clinical trials. The nimble, yet powerful FNIH team, is making important medical discoveries possible. I am proud to be a part of their work, which will benefit our world far into the future.” – Buffy Cafritz HONORARY TRUSTEE, THE JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, AND FNIH BOARD MEMBER

Mrs. Cafritz’s unwavering commitment to the FNIH has supported students, patients and researchers at the NIH for nearly two decades. She and her husband have helped students interested in Parkinson’s disease train with renowned scientists by funding the NIH Medical Research Scholars Program, thus supporting a new generation of clinician-scientists. Mrs. Cafritz also sponsors a room at the Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge just footsteps away from the NIH Clinical Center, so that patients and their families can stay together during treatment.

Mrs. Cafritz and the Buffy and William Cafritz Family Foundation’s commitment to biomedicine extends to research in the laboratory. In 2017, their support created a five-year competitive grant program at the NCI to develop highly innovative approaches and technologies for kidney cancer. Through her dedication to this significant work, Mrs. Cafritz’s presence in biomedical research will be felt for generations to come.

Barbara Lazio, M.D., and Matthew Scher

Barbara Lazio, M.D., and Mr. Matthew Scher of Olympia, WA further cancer research by donating annually to the FNIH in honor of their mothers, who passed away from the disease.

Matthew Scher and Barbara Lazio, M.D.

“After losing some of our closest family members and friends to cancer, we felt we needed to support ongoing research to benefit future cancer patients. There are many charities soliciting funds for cancer research, but we felt by investing in the FNIH, our money would be applied to the most highly vetted and innovative research. We really just want to keep the fire burning, support the innovators, see these baby steps develop into something that can eventually impact a person’s life.” – Barbara Lazio

Ms. Carol-Ann Harris

Ms. Carol-Ann Harris of Fort Lee, NJ, advances muscular dystrophy research through the CarMollNat Endowment at the FNIH.

Ms. Carol-Ann Harris

“Muscular dystrophy has affected my family for at least seven generations. I felt it was my calling to honor my loved ones by investing in the FNIH so that important research can propel this field forward and help future patients and their families in the years to come.” – Ms. Carol-Ann Harris

A physical therapist helps a boy with muscular dystrophy exercise.
A physical therapist helps a boy with muscular dystrophy exercise.

Mrs. Lily Safra

As lead benefactor of the Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge (Family Lodge), Mrs. Lily Safra has made housing available for about 130,000 adult patients of the NIH Clinical Center and their loved ones since 2005. These brave patients travel with their families from around the world to participate in vital research at the NIH Clinical Center, which is known for its history of medical breakthroughs, including the development of chemotherapy for cancer and the first AIDS treatment.

Mrs. Lily Safra, Chairwoman of the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation

“I know from personal experience how when one person becomes ill, a whole family is affected. By providing a warm and comfortable environment for patients’ families at the Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge, I hope that more people will be able to seek treatment and participate in vital clinical research efforts at the NIH Clinical Center.” – Mrs. Lily Safra CHAIRWOMAN OF THE EDMOND J. SAFRA PHILANTHROPIC FOUNDATION AND FNIH BOARD MEMBER

Located within walking distance of the NIH Clinical Center, this English manor- style residence features 34 spacious guest rooms. Its elegant kitchen, library, fitness and business centers, and gardens, alongside its dedicated onsite team, offer families a home-like place of respite during their time of need. By caring for these courageous families, Mrs. Safra is ensuring crucial biomedical research rapidly progresses to improve the health of current patients and those in the years ahead. Learn more about the Family Lodge at

Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge