Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Legacy of A Life Too Short

Jennifer Lewis was initially diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 14 years of age. “She battled the disease with the same grace and courage that she approached everything in life,” says her mother, Casandra Rendleman-Hall, who previously worked as the Practice Manager for Pediatric Surgery at GBMC. Jennifer was cared for at GBMC, where she received chemotherapy treatments. “Jennifer was a vivacious young lady, who was full of life and did not let adversity stand in her way,” says her mother.

After completing the grueling year-long chemotherapy regimen, Jennifer, then 15, and her mother were treated by the Make-A-Wish Foundation to a vacation in Japan. The highlight of the trip was when Jennifer, who had studied Japanese, and her mother made their way through Disneyland with Jennifer doing the interpreting.

In the fall of 2006, Jennifer was just beginning to make her mark on the world. A brilliant student, she graduated with a double major from the University of Maryland, where she received a full scholarship. She had gotten a new job with Kraft Foods and was studying for the entrance exam to law school. But her life was turned upside down again when she learned the cancer had reoccurred. Sadly, Jennifer succumbed to ovarian cancer in 2008 when she was just 23 years old.

To honor her life, the Jennifer F. Lewis Foundation was established by her mother and sorority sisters to promote ovarian cancer research and to raise awareness. The Foundation awards scholarships to University of Maryland College Park students who exemplify the dynamic spirit and drive that Jennifer exuded throughout her life. Recently, the Jennifer Lewis Foundation presented the Sandra & Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute at GBMC with a check for $2,500 to support other patients who have ovarian cancer.

“I would like to thank Jennifer’s oncologist, Dr. Celano, and his staff for the warm and compassionate care that he gave my daughter,” says Mrs. Rendleman-Hall. “Although my life will never be the same without my only child, I feel a great comfort to know that she received the best possible care.”

To get more information about making a tribute donation to GBMC, visit and click on “Donate Now.”

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