Suzanne's Friends For Life Chapter

Suzanne Dreebin Wilensky grew up in Northbrook, Illinois.

Her charming personality, a smile for everyone, and a selfless desire to get involved whenever a helping hand was needed, made her the consummate role model. Seemingly without effort, she excelled in school, participated in a whirlwind of activities and was welcomed onto the fast track of the business world.

She married Steve and gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Emily, in 1995. Six months later, Suzanne was diagnosed with leukemia. Despite a painful, but valiant effort, she succumbed to this horrible disease just a few months later, the day before Mother’s Day.

Her many friends and family formed Suzanne’s Friends ~ For Life, a chapter of the Leukemia Research Foundation. Our pledge is to carry on the fight against leukemia “for life,” if need be. It is our statement of resolve and purpose, and a transformation of the tragedy of her death into a crusade to find a cure for leukemia.

Nearly $3M has been raised in tribute to Suzanne funding research, patient financial assistance, and educational and support programs. These funds were raised through a variety of special events at the Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago Historical Museum, and other exciting venues.

In recent years, our “event” has been simplified to a mailer request of donations and an offer of prizes through an extraordinary raffle. As a result, the Suzanne Dreebin Wilensky Research Grant has been formally established. Past recipients include:

2020 - 2021: Yana Pickman, MD - Dana Farber Cancer Institute
2019 - 2020: Yongsoo Kim, PhD - VU Medical Center, Amsterdam
2018 - 2019: Brittany Knick Ragon, MD - University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
2017 - 2018: Parvathi Ranganathan, PhD - The Ohio State University
2016 - 2017: Panagiotis Ntziachristos, PhD - Northwestern University
2015 - 2016: Ran Taube, PhD – Ben-Gurion University
2014 - 2015: Andrew G. Muntean, PhD – University of Michigan
2013 – 2014: Ann Mullally, MD – Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Suzanne passed away 25 years ago on May 11, 1996. THANK YOU for your incredible support!