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
  • More than 2.9 million men living in the U.S. today have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Many of these men have had treatment with surgery or radiation and will never see their cancer return, giving hope to the roughly 220,800 people who will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. Unfortunately, for a...
  • Sebastian Sanchez-Luege knows too well how crucial cancer research is in saving people’s lives. The 19-year-old was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, a rare condition that accounts for just 2 percent of blood cancers, when he was just 6 years old. When standard treatments didn’t work, h...
  • Pancreatic cancer is one of the most challenging cancers to treat because it rarely shows symptoms in its early stages. Today, however, aggressive therapies and specialized care can significantly improve outcomes and increase the likelihood of a cure. City of Hope has one of the most experienced pancreatic canc...
  • People with a family history of cancer often want, or need, to know whether they have a gene mutation linked to that cancer. For that, they seek genetic testing, involving a blood sample that is analyzed for specific gene abnormalities. Thomas Slavin, M.D., a geneticist and assistant clinical professor at City ...
  • It was 2009 when a City of Hope patient in her 40s learned that the cancer she had been fighting for several years had metastasized to her lungs. Her medical team ran genetic tests on the tumor, but none of the drug therapies available at the time targeted the known mutations in the tumor cells. […]
  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by a rapidly-developing cancer in the myeloid line of blood cells, which is responsible for producing red blood cells, platelets and several types of white blood cells called granulocytes. Because AML grows rapidly, it can quickly crowd out normal blood cells, leadi...
  • Rachel Divine is a yoga therapist and patient leader for the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center. She’s also a former City of Hope patient. When someone you know has cancer, even the word “cancer” can make you feel nervous, sleepless, depressed or more. But, as a yoga teacher for 15 ...
  •   Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 9 years old, Gina Marchini accepted the fact that she would need insulin the rest of her life. Every day, she injected herself with the lifesaving hormone. She also carefully controlled her diet and monitored the rise and fall of her blood glucose with military...
  • The defeat of cancer will require a team effort. Nowhere is this more necessary (or apparent) than in efforts to combat two of the most deadly forms of the disease  – pancreatic cancer and triple-negative breast cancer. It’s the approach City of Hope is taking with its newly launched multidisciplinary teams, br...
  • It’s a reasonable question: Why is the National Cancer Institute funding a study on preventing heart failure? The answer is reasonable as well: Rates of heart failure are drastically high among childhood cancer survivors — 15 times higher than among people the same age who were never treated for cancer. T...
  • Many teenagers take a break from academics during the summer, but not the eight high school students enrolled in the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Creativity Awards program at City of Hope. They took the opportunity to obtain as much hands-on research experience as possible, learning fro...
  • About one in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in her life. In fact, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, behind skin cancer. Although women can’t change some risk factors, such as genetics and the natural aging process, there are certain things they can do to lower thei...
  • As genetic testing becomes more sophisticated, doctors and their patients are finding that such tests can lead to the discovery of previously unknown cancer risks. In his practice at City of Hope, Thomas Slavin, M.D., an assistant clinical professor in the Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics, sees the full spe...
  • And the winners are … everyone in the San Gabriel Valley. The recipients of City of Hope’s first-ever Healthy Living grants have been announced, and the future is looking healthier already. In selecting San Gabriel Valley organizations to receive the grants, City of Hope’s Community Benefits Advisory Council ch...
  • Barry Leshowitz is a former City of Hope patient and a family advisor for the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center. It’s been almost seven years since I checked into a local hospital in Phoenix for a hip replacement, only to be informed by the surgeon that he had canceled the surgery....