A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Make an appointment: 800-826-HOPE
Profile - Rhoda Ehrlich of Florida Bookmark and Share

Centennial Convention Profile: Rhoda Ehrlich of Florida

With the Centennial Convention celebrating City of Hope's volunteer fund-raisers, we take this opportunity to highlight a few...
 
By Roberta Nichols
 
While living in Manhattan during the 1960s, Rhoda Ehrlich had heard about City of Hope through local chapters raising money for the cancer research hospital near Los Angeles.

Rhoda Ehrlich
She would never suspect that in 1965, she would lose her own 19-year-old daughter, Phyllis Dropkin, to a malignant brain tumor.

To honor her daughter, and help find a cure for the disease that took her life, Ehrlich’s friends formed their own fundraising chapter for City of Hope.  “A good many of us lived on East End Avenue – on the upper east side of New York on the East River.  We decided to call it the East End Chapter/Phyllis Dropkin Foundation.”
 
The activity helped her navigate the fog of grief, Ehrlich recalled.
 
“I have to tell you in all honesty, getting myself so thoroughly involved learning about the work that was being done at City of Hope, I got caught up in it – the feeling that I could help another mother.” 

In 1973, due to her husband Seymour’s heart condition, they moved to Sunny Isles, Fla. (near South Beach).  That same year, the couple flew to City of Hope, where Seymour Ehrlich underwent heart bypass surgery that gave him another 26 years of life.

After moving to Florida, Ehrlich continued her fundraising efforts for City of Hope, establishing the Phyllis Dropkin chapter, one of the oldest existing chapters in the area.  Since its inception, it has raised more than $3.5 million.

Today, Ehrlich is president of City of Hope’s South East Region, which encompasses Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. 

She recently attended City of Hope’s Centennial Convention, adding that she's been to every City of Hope convention since 1967, when “I wanted to see what I was so actively supporting.”  Nearly 46 years later, she still remembers her first impressions of the “low buildings,” lush gardens and the beautiful campus which was “more like a lovely spa than a hospital.” 

She also remembers the labs where she met researchers whose work promised to save other children.

“The conventions were wonderful,” said Ehrlich. “They gave opportunity to people who were active in the City of Hope but had never seen it, so it was very inspirational for them to visit the hospital to have actual contact with doctors and scientists. They would come back to South Florida and be able to relate personally. We weren’t talking about a myth; there is this wonderful place.”

In view of the fierce competition for charity dollars, it might have been a difficult sell – but not for Ehrlich. “There were hospitals here in South Miami. Of course, none of them could actually compete with what City of Hope was doing – trying to find cures for catastrophic diseases.”

Over the years, Ehrlich has persuaded myriad people to become generous supporters of City of Hope.

Some are moved to donate when they meet patients. “It’s always very meaningful to meet someone who was told they weren’t going to live, then came to City of Hope and were cured,” she said.

These days, the chapters must not only compete with other charities, but with time.  “A lot of chapters have been abandoned because of the age of the members,” Ehrlich said.

There has also been a dramatic cultural paradigm shift since the days when “mother was the homemaker, and daddy went out to work,” Ehrlich said. Today, both are often involved in careers and can’t devote as much time to philanthropic activities, she points out. 

Yet, thanks to traditions instilled in countless households, younger generations are still taking time to support this organization that their parents sustained. Ehrlich’s daughter, Cheryl Borek, for instance, who lives in Jacksonville, came to the convention.  Ehrlich’s son, Charles, who lives in Miami, couldn't make it to the convention but “he has been very helpful in recruiting money for City of Hope for me,” she said.  
 
New generations of City of Hope supporters are sharing the news of how discoveries in the laboratory are more quickly translated to patients.
“Lives are saved here and all over the world because of what goes on in Duarte,” said Ehrlich. 

 

Profile - Rhoda Ehrlich of Florida

Centennial Convention Profile: Rhoda Ehrlich of Florida

With the Centennial Convention celebrating City of Hope's volunteer fund-raisers, we take this opportunity to highlight a few...
 
By Roberta Nichols
 
While living in Manhattan during the 1960s, Rhoda Ehrlich had heard about City of Hope through local chapters raising money for the cancer research hospital near Los Angeles.

Rhoda Ehrlich
She would never suspect that in 1965, she would lose her own 19-year-old daughter, Phyllis Dropkin, to a malignant brain tumor.

To honor her daughter, and help find a cure for the disease that took her life, Ehrlich’s friends formed their own fundraising chapter for City of Hope.  “A good many of us lived on East End Avenue – on the upper east side of New York on the East River.  We decided to call it the East End Chapter/Phyllis Dropkin Foundation.”
 
The activity helped her navigate the fog of grief, Ehrlich recalled.
 
“I have to tell you in all honesty, getting myself so thoroughly involved learning about the work that was being done at City of Hope, I got caught up in it – the feeling that I could help another mother.” 

In 1973, due to her husband Seymour’s heart condition, they moved to Sunny Isles, Fla. (near South Beach).  That same year, the couple flew to City of Hope, where Seymour Ehrlich underwent heart bypass surgery that gave him another 26 years of life.

After moving to Florida, Ehrlich continued her fundraising efforts for City of Hope, establishing the Phyllis Dropkin chapter, one of the oldest existing chapters in the area.  Since its inception, it has raised more than $3.5 million.

Today, Ehrlich is president of City of Hope’s South East Region, which encompasses Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. 

She recently attended City of Hope’s Centennial Convention, adding that she's been to every City of Hope convention since 1967, when “I wanted to see what I was so actively supporting.”  Nearly 46 years later, she still remembers her first impressions of the “low buildings,” lush gardens and the beautiful campus which was “more like a lovely spa than a hospital.” 

She also remembers the labs where she met researchers whose work promised to save other children.

“The conventions were wonderful,” said Ehrlich. “They gave opportunity to people who were active in the City of Hope but had never seen it, so it was very inspirational for them to visit the hospital to have actual contact with doctors and scientists. They would come back to South Florida and be able to relate personally. We weren’t talking about a myth; there is this wonderful place.”

In view of the fierce competition for charity dollars, it might have been a difficult sell – but not for Ehrlich. “There were hospitals here in South Miami. Of course, none of them could actually compete with what City of Hope was doing – trying to find cures for catastrophic diseases.”

Over the years, Ehrlich has persuaded myriad people to become generous supporters of City of Hope.

Some are moved to donate when they meet patients. “It’s always very meaningful to meet someone who was told they weren’t going to live, then came to City of Hope and were cured,” she said.

These days, the chapters must not only compete with other charities, but with time.  “A lot of chapters have been abandoned because of the age of the members,” Ehrlich said.

There has also been a dramatic cultural paradigm shift since the days when “mother was the homemaker, and daddy went out to work,” Ehrlich said. Today, both are often involved in careers and can’t devote as much time to philanthropic activities, she points out. 

Yet, thanks to traditions instilled in countless households, younger generations are still taking time to support this organization that their parents sustained. Ehrlich’s daughter, Cheryl Borek, for instance, who lives in Jacksonville, came to the convention.  Ehrlich’s son, Charles, who lives in Miami, couldn't make it to the convention but “he has been very helpful in recruiting money for City of Hope for me,” she said.  
 
New generations of City of Hope supporters are sharing the news of how discoveries in the laboratory are more quickly translated to patients.
“Lives are saved here and all over the world because of what goes on in Duarte,” said Ehrlich. 

 
Media Inquiries/Social Media
 
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
  • To celebrate the beginning of Lunar New  Year 2015, City of Hope honored not just a new lunar calendar, but also the diversity of the community it serves. On Jan. 21, as tens of thousands of people celebrated Lunar New Year (and the arrival of the Year of the Ram) in the streets of L.A.’s Chinatown, City of [&#...
  • The breakthroughs that have revolutionized cancer treatment, transforming cancer in many cases to a very manageable and even curable disease, started out as just ideas. “I will often tell patients there’s no therapy we’re using to help them that wasn’t derived from somebody’s idea in some laboratory, working la...
  • The prostate cancer screening debate, at least as it relates to regular assessment of prostate specific antigen levels, is far from over. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against routine PSA screening for prostate cancer in 2012, maintaining that the routine use of the PSA blood test does mor...
  • Cancer patients should get more than medical treatment. They should get comprehensive, evidence-based care that addresses their full range of needs. That kind of patient-focused care is City of Hope’s specialty. Under the guidance of Dawn Gross, M.D., Ph.D., the new Arthur M. Coppola Family Chair in Suppo...
  • Think twice before tossing out those hormone replacement pills. Although a new Lancet study suggests that hormone replacement therapy could increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer, a City of Hope expert urges women to keep this news in perspective. Hormone replacement therapy is prescribed to help allev...
  • Don’t know what to take, or send, that friend of yours in the hospital? Try a paper plate — filled not with cookies or sweets, but an image of yourself. Ilana Massi, currently undergoing treatment at City of Hope for acute myeloid leukemia, can vouch for the power of such a gift. She’s surrounded herself [̷...
  • With precision medicine now a national priority, City of Hope has joined a novel research partnership designed to further understanding of cancer at the molecular level, ultimately leading to more targeted cancer treatments. The Oncology Research Information Exchange Network, or ORIEN, is the world’s larg...
  • The spinal cord is an integral part of the human body, connecting the brain to everything else. So when a tumor grows on the spine, any messages that the brain tries to send to the rest of the body are interrupted, making everyday tasks — such as walking — more difficult. This year an estimated 22,850 […]
  • Each year, thousands of patients with hematologic malignancies undergo allogeneic stem cell transplantation (that is, they receive a donor’s stem cells), offering them a chance at cure. Graft-versus-host disease is a potentially deadly complication of this therapy and occurs in approximately 25 to 60 perc...
  • Bertram Yuh, M.D., assistant clinical professor in the Division of Urology and Urologic Oncology at City of Hope, offers his perspective on the benefits of surgery for aggressive prostate cancer. For men walking out of the doctor’s office after a diagnosis of cancer, the reality can hit like a ton of bricks. Th...
  • Although many Hispanic women face a high risk of mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes – increasing their risk of breast and ovarian cancer – screenings for these mutations can be prohibitively expensive in Mexico and other Latin American countries. As a result, too many women don’t get the information t...
  • Providing lung cancer treatments to patients when their cancer is at its earliest and most treatable stages will now be a more attainable goal: Medicare has agreed to cover lung cancer screening for those beneficiaries who meet the requirements. The only proven way to detect lung cancer early enough to save liv...
  • At City of Hope, innovative scientific research, important clinical studies and vital construction projects are all powered by philanthropy. Generous supporters fuel a powerful and diverse range of progress in science and medicine, enabling researchers and clinicians to improve cancer treatments and create cure...
  • Trevor Hoffman was only 21 when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, but not even cancer could keep him off his motorcycles. (He has one for racing, and a couple just for fun.) Now a cancer survivor, Hoffman, who lives in La Verne, California, wrapped up his treatment Jan. 19 – just one day […]
  • Valentine’s Day is synonymous with dinner reservations, red roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and — more often than not — unrealistically high expectations. Managing those expectations is great advice for all couples on Feb. 14 — and is especially important for couples confronting a cancer diagnosis. Focu...