Suzanne's Friends for Life Chapter

Suzanne Dreebin Wilensky grew up in Northbrook, Illinois. Her charming personality, a smile for everyone, and a selfless desire to get involved whenever a helping hand was needed made her the consummate role model. Seemingly without effort, she excelled in school, participated in a whirlwind of activities, and was welcomed onto the fast track of the business world.

She married Steve and gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Emily, in 1995. Six months later, Suzanne was diagnosed with leukemia. Despite a painful but valiant effort, she succumbed to this horrible disease just a few months later, the day before Mother’s Day.

Her many friends and family formed Suzanne’s Friends ~ For Life, a chapter of the Leukemia Research Foundation. Our pledge is to carry on the fight against leukemia “for life,” if need be. Our statement of resolve and purpose is a transformation of the tragedy of her death into a crusade to find a cure for leukemia.

Nearly $3M has been raised in Suzanne's memory to help fund research and provide patient and family support programs. These funds were raised through a variety of special events at the Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago Historical Museum, and other exciting venues.

Our “event” has been simplified to a mailer request for donations and an offer of prizes through an extraordinary raffle. As a result, the Suzanne Dreebin Wilensky Research Grant has been formally established. Past recipients include:

  • 2020-2021: Yana Pickman, MD, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
  • 2019-2020: Yongsoo Kim, PhD, VU Medical Center, Amsterdam
  • 2018-2019: Brittany Knick Ragon, MD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • 2017-2018: Parvathi Ranganathan, PhD, The Ohio State University
  • 2016-2017: Panagiotis Ntziachristos, PhD, Northwestern University
  • 2015-2016: Ran Taube, PhD, Ben-Gurion University
  • 2014-2015: Andrew G. Muntean, PhD, University of Michigan
  • 2013-2014: Ann Mullally, MD, Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital