Stephen E. Banner Fund for Lung Cancer Research
Ellen Banner talks about the creation of the Stephen E. Banner Fund for Lung Cancer Research
In 1995 my children and I started the Stephen E. Banner Fund for Lung Cancer Research in memory of my late husband. Since inception, the Fund has raised $4,525,000 making possible a wave of essential and innovative programs. The fund has supported Perlmutter Cancer Center’s Abraham Chachoua, MD and Harvey Pass, MD in leading their teams through continuing scientific investigation aimed at finding more efficient ways to detect and treat lung cancer. Additionally, the fund provides counseling and education for the patients and their families, an area which was once largely ignored due to negative connotations that surround lung cancer.
Last year I also pledged to help raise or contribute $2,500,000 to support the Stephen E. Banner Professorship in Thoracic Oncology. Once fully funded, this endowment will provide salary support to the Perlmutter Cancer Center ensuring the highest level of talent for the Lung Cancer Program at NYU Langone. Currently this fund total is $2,015,000.
Lung cancer does not discriminate. It is a disease that affects men and women, young and old, smokers and non-smokers. It is imperative to have programs that help patients and their families cope with this disease.
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Stephen E. Banner is lovingly remembered as a devoted husband and father to his four children, a loyal and generous friend, and a brilliant lawyer. An honors graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School, Steve clerked for Judge Irving R. Kaufman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit before moving on to success in the corporate department at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. In 1991, he became a senior executive at The Seagram Company, one of his longtime clients.
Renowned among his colleagues for his incisive intellect, quick wit, and personal charisma, Steve was also the kind of man who would go out of his way to help mentor young associates, or write silly rhymed verse for his friends’ birthdays. Never happier than when he was with his wife and children, he tended to downplay his own considerable professional accomplishments in favor of his kids’ minor triumphs. Fifteen years after his death, his warmth and joie de vivre still inspire all who knew him.