Donor Spotlight: The Harry T. Barbaris, M.D. Memorial Fund
Dr. Harry T. Barbaris was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, esteemed physician, and dear friend. As both a physician and a friend, Harry was a man of healing, never hesitating to extend himself in love and companionship, and always fighting other people’s battles with disease. After valiantly waging a brave battle of his own, in 2007 Dr. Harry Barbaris succumbed to pancreatic cancer, but not before resolving that his experience serve a greater purpose. Harry wanted to help find a cure for the nation’s fourth leading cancer killer.
The family set out to honor Harry’s wish, and his wife Maryjane created the Harry T. Barbaris, M.D. Memorial Fund at The Lustgarten Foundation. Immediately, the family began directing memorial gifts to the Fund. In addition, the extended Barbaris family and their friends formed a team to raise funds for the 2007 Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk. The team, which quickly swelled to 75 members, was aptly named “Walk for the Weasel,” because those who knew Harry were undoubtedly referred to as “weasel” at one time or another. In its first year, team "Walk for the Weasel" raised more than $75,000 for the Walk!
“It is my hope that individuals can someday be screened for pancreatic cancer as part of a routine exam.” - Maryjane Barbaris
Taken together, the combined fundraising efforts of The Barbaris Family have totaled more than $130,000 in support of promising pancreatic cancer research. In 2008, The Barbaris Family chose to direct the Fund in support of the Foundation’s Early Detection Biomarker Development Project. Said Maryjane, “It is my hope that patients can someday be screened for pancreatic cancer as part of their routine exam. My husband Harry was an incredible person, who will be deeply missed. Had a biomarker test been available, perhaps he would still be with us today.”