A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE
Profile - Don Hoffman of California Bookmark and Share

Centennial Convention Profile: Don Hoffman of California

With the Centennial Convention celebrating City of Hope's volunteer fund-raisers, we take this opportunity to highlight a few...
 
By Roberta Nichols
 
When Don Hoffman learned the startling news that he had breast cancer, his doctor asked if he needed a referral for an oncologist.

Hoffman declined the offer. “I’m going to City of Hope,” he said.

Hoffman, now 74, had been involved with City of Hope ever since he was a teenager volunteering at its fundraising events. “It was the charity of choice for my parents so it was the charity of choice for me,” recalled Hoffman, a resident of Northridge, Calif.
 
His father, Irving, a production manager in the garment industry, served as president of the Merchants’ Club (now the Apparel Industries Guild) and also created table decorations for its events. He recruited Hoffman and his sister to staff registration tables.

During Hoffman’s career in the furniture industry, manufacturers donated furniture each year for sales that benefitted City of Hope. Hoffman volunteered to run those sales.

He escalated his involvement over the years, serving on City of Hope’s Board of Governors and then on its Board of Directors. In 2004, he joined the Ambassador Leadership Council, where he helped retool City of Hope’s 2007 convention and re-energize City of Hope’s fund-raising chapters.
 
One of their best-received initiatives was the Tour of Hope, in which doctors and staff, as well as patients whose lives had been saved at City of Hope, traveled to chapters around the country to tell their stories in person.

Back in December 2010, when his internist confirmed that the areola on Hoffman’s left breast was suspiciously flat, he underwent a mammogram and needle biopsy, revealing a Stage One nodule so tiny (1.6 centimeters – the size of a thumbnail) that he says his doctor was amazed he discovered it.

At City of Hope, he came under the care of oncologist Joanne Mortimer, M.D., director of the Women's Cancers Program at City of Hope and surgeon Laura Kruper, M.D., director of the  Rita Cooper Finkel and J. William Finkel Women’s Health Center at City of Hope .  Undergoing a successful mastectomy of his left breast in March 2011, Hoffman has been taking the hormone-blocking medication tamoxifen ever since. 

Today, aside from occasional side effects such as night sweats and hot flashes (which he says endears him to women), he is doing well.

From the start, Hoffman has been open about his illness.  After his diagnosis, he e-mailed fellow males on City of Hope’s Board of Governors, suggesting that they man up about their health. “…As a man, you have to realize you are vulnerable, as well. Whatever is bothering you, take care of it.” 
 
A number of colleagues later told him he had prompted them to seek medical treatment for conditions they had been ignoring.

He makes a practice to wear one of City of Hope’s pink breast cancer awareness pins on the collar of his golf shirt and welcomes questions from the curious, be they male or female.  “It’s amazing how many people will say, ‘Isn’t that a breast cancer pin? Why are you wearing that?’”

“I get the opportunity to say that I’m one of the one half of one percent of diagnosed breast cancers per year that are men.”  The American Cancer Society estimates that 2,240 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men this year.
 
Though Hoffman retired 22 years ago, the father of three eschews idle moments.  Instead, he makes his time count, dividing his hours between his family, his work on behalf of City of Hope, and a hobby he has relished for decades: square dancing.
 
He and his wife, Lois, started taking square dance classes back in 1968 when she told him she was tired of watching “Get Smart” reruns on Saturday nights.  These days, the duo often can be found traveling the country to participate in both square and “round” (ballroom) dance festivals.

Because cancer runs in his family, and because he is of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, Hoffman underwent genetic testing at City of Hope for the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutation to determine whether his children and grandchildren would require testing.  He did not have the mutation.

Hoffman returned yet again to City of Hope for the Centennial Convention, where he led campus  tours for conventioneers from across the U.S.,  and introduced them to researchers in the laboratories. 

One of those laboratory researchers was his granddaughter, Lauren Hoffman, who represents the fourth-generation of the Hoffman family committed to City of Hope.
 
 

Profile - Don Hoffman of California

Centennial Convention Profile: Don Hoffman of California

With the Centennial Convention celebrating City of Hope's volunteer fund-raisers, we take this opportunity to highlight a few...
 
By Roberta Nichols
 
When Don Hoffman learned the startling news that he had breast cancer, his doctor asked if he needed a referral for an oncologist.

Hoffman declined the offer. “I’m going to City of Hope,” he said.

Hoffman, now 74, had been involved with City of Hope ever since he was a teenager volunteering at its fundraising events. “It was the charity of choice for my parents so it was the charity of choice for me,” recalled Hoffman, a resident of Northridge, Calif.
 
His father, Irving, a production manager in the garment industry, served as president of the Merchants’ Club (now the Apparel Industries Guild) and also created table decorations for its events. He recruited Hoffman and his sister to staff registration tables.

During Hoffman’s career in the furniture industry, manufacturers donated furniture each year for sales that benefitted City of Hope. Hoffman volunteered to run those sales.

He escalated his involvement over the years, serving on City of Hope’s Board of Governors and then on its Board of Directors. In 2004, he joined the Ambassador Leadership Council, where he helped retool City of Hope’s 2007 convention and re-energize City of Hope’s fund-raising chapters.
 
One of their best-received initiatives was the Tour of Hope, in which doctors and staff, as well as patients whose lives had been saved at City of Hope, traveled to chapters around the country to tell their stories in person.

Back in December 2010, when his internist confirmed that the areola on Hoffman’s left breast was suspiciously flat, he underwent a mammogram and needle biopsy, revealing a Stage One nodule so tiny (1.6 centimeters – the size of a thumbnail) that he says his doctor was amazed he discovered it.

At City of Hope, he came under the care of oncologist Joanne Mortimer, M.D., director of the Women's Cancers Program at City of Hope and surgeon Laura Kruper, M.D., director of the  Rita Cooper Finkel and J. William Finkel Women’s Health Center at City of Hope .  Undergoing a successful mastectomy of his left breast in March 2011, Hoffman has been taking the hormone-blocking medication tamoxifen ever since. 

Today, aside from occasional side effects such as night sweats and hot flashes (which he says endears him to women), he is doing well.

From the start, Hoffman has been open about his illness.  After his diagnosis, he e-mailed fellow males on City of Hope’s Board of Governors, suggesting that they man up about their health. “…As a man, you have to realize you are vulnerable, as well. Whatever is bothering you, take care of it.” 
 
A number of colleagues later told him he had prompted them to seek medical treatment for conditions they had been ignoring.

He makes a practice to wear one of City of Hope’s pink breast cancer awareness pins on the collar of his golf shirt and welcomes questions from the curious, be they male or female.  “It’s amazing how many people will say, ‘Isn’t that a breast cancer pin? Why are you wearing that?’”

“I get the opportunity to say that I’m one of the one half of one percent of diagnosed breast cancers per year that are men.”  The American Cancer Society estimates that 2,240 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men this year.
 
Though Hoffman retired 22 years ago, the father of three eschews idle moments.  Instead, he makes his time count, dividing his hours between his family, his work on behalf of City of Hope, and a hobby he has relished for decades: square dancing.
 
He and his wife, Lois, started taking square dance classes back in 1968 when she told him she was tired of watching “Get Smart” reruns on Saturday nights.  These days, the duo often can be found traveling the country to participate in both square and “round” (ballroom) dance festivals.

Because cancer runs in his family, and because he is of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, Hoffman underwent genetic testing at City of Hope for the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 mutation to determine whether his children and grandchildren would require testing.  He did not have the mutation.

Hoffman returned yet again to City of Hope for the Centennial Convention, where he led campus  tours for conventioneers from across the U.S.,  and introduced them to researchers in the laboratories. 

One of those laboratory researchers was his granddaughter, Lauren Hoffman, who represents the fourth-generation of the Hoffman family committed to City of Hope.
 
 
Media Inquiries/Social Media

For media inquiries contact:

Dominique Grignetti
800-888-5323
dgrignetti@coh.org

 

For sponsorships inquiries please contact:

Stefanie Sprester
213-241-7160
ssprester@coh.org

Christine Nassr
213-241-7112
cnassr@coh.org

 
CONNECT WITH US
Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Blog
 
For 100 years, we’ve been a global leader in the fight against cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Hope powers our dream of curing diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. We need help from people like you. Become a Citizen of Hope, and join us in the fight to save lives all over the world.
Send a gift card in someone's name, memory, or honor. We personalize the cards with your message and mail them for you.
Subscribe to news by email
Subscribe to news and updates from City of Hope to get the latest on our research, treatment and other news you can use.  View our privacy policy.
 
 
Help Find Cures
Your gift plays an essential role in accelerating our life-saving research and advancing our mission of providing the highest level of patient-centered care to those we serve.
 
 
City of Hope Breakthroughs
Get the latest in City of Hope's research, treatment and news you can use on our blog, Breakthroughs.
 
 
NEWS & UPDATES
  • For most prostate cancer patients, surgery or radiation therapy is the initial and primary treatment against the disease. But some patients can benefit from chemotherapy and hormone therapy too, especially if there are signs of a relapse or if the cancer has spread beyond the prostate gland. Here, Cy Stein, M.D...
  • Cancer research has yielded scientific breakthroughs that offer patients more options, more hope for survival and a higher quality of life than ever before. The 14.5 million cancer patients living in the United States are living proof that cancer research saves lives. Now, in addition to the clinic, hospital an...
  • Advances in cancer treatment, built on discoveries made in the laboratory then brought to the bedside, have phenomenally changed the reality of living with a cancer diagnosis. More than any other time in history, people diagnosed with cancer are more likely to survive and to enjoy a high quality of life. Howeve...
  • While health care reform has led to an increase in the number of people signing up for health insurance, many people remain uninsured or are not taking full advantage of the health benefits they now have. Still others are finding that, although their premiums are affordable, they aren’t able to see the do...
  • Kidney cancer rates and thyroid cancer rates in adults have continued to rise year after year. Now a new study has found that incidence rates for these cancers are also increasing in children — particularly in African-American children. The study, published online this month in Pediatrics, examined childhood ca...
  • Thyroid cancer has become one of the fastest-growing cancers in the United States for both men and women. The chance of being diagnosed with the cancer has nearly doubled since 1990. This year an estimated 63,000 people will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the United States and nearly 1,900 people will die ...
  • Older teenagers and young adults traditionally face worse outcomes than younger children when diagnosed with brain cancer and other central nervous system tumors. A first-of-its-kind study shows why. A team of researchers from the departments of Population Sciences and Pathology at City of Hope recently examine...
  • Cancer treatment can take a toll on the mouth, even if a patient’s cancer has nothing to do with the head or throat, leading to a dry mouth, or a very sore mouth, and making it difficult to swallow or eat. Here’s some advice from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)  on how to ease cancer-related dis...
  • Radiation oncology is one of the three main specialties involved in the successful treatment of cancer, along with surgical oncology and medical oncology. Experts in this field, known as radiation oncologists, advise patients as to whether radiation therapy will be useful for their cancer – and how it can best ...
  • There’s more to cancer care than simply helping patients survive. There’s more to cancer treatment than simple survival. Constant pain should not be part of conquering cancer,  insists Betty Ferrell, Ph.D., R.N., director of nursing research and education at City of Hope. She wants patients and caregivers...
  • Even its name is daunting. Systemic mastocytosis is a fatal disease of the blood with no known cure. But a new study suggests a bone marrow transplant may be the answer for some patients. While rare, systemic mastocytosis is resistant to treatment with drugs and, when aggressive, can be fatal within four years ...
  • Could what you eat affect the health of your chromosomes? The short answer is, “Yes.” Researchers led by Dustin Schones, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Cancer Biology, and Rama Natarajan, Ph.D., director of the Division of Molecular Diabetes Research and the National Business Products Industry ...
  • September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Here, Bertram Yuh, M.D., assistant clinical professor in the Division of Urology and Urologic Oncology at City of Hope, explains the importance of understanding the risk factors for the disease and ways to reduce those risks, as well as overall prostate health. “Wha...
  • ** Learn more about prostate health, plus prostate cancer research and treatment, at City of Hope. ** Learn more about getting a second opinion at City of Hope by visiting us online or by calling 800-826-HOPE (4673). City of Hope staff will explain what’s required for a consult at City of Hope and help yo...
  • Childhood cancer survival rates have increased dramatically over the past 40 years. More than 80 percent of children with cancer now survive five years or more, which is a tremendous feat. Despite the survival rate increase, cancer continues to be the No. 1 disease killer and second-leading cause of death in ch...