Basser Center Leadership Council members are dedicated to supporting and advocating on behalf of the Basser Research Center for BRCA. The Council's aim is to ensure the center has the resources needed to accelerate BRCA-related research, care, and education and to provide hope to patients and families.
Mindy is Board Chair of the Basser Leadership Council.
Mindy Gray received her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History from the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated magna cum laude in 1992. After graduating, Mindy moved to New York City and worked as an editor at Ziff Davis Publishing and then as a marketing executive at Edwin Schlossberg, Inc., an exhibit design firm. She and her husband Jon reside in NYC where they are raising their four daughters. Mindy is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) and a member of OCRF's Executive Committee. She is also actively involved at the Harlem Village Academies charter schools and sits on the Leadership Council of Peer Health Exchange, a charity dedicated to giving teens a comprehensive health education.
In 2012, Mindy and Jon Gray made a transformative gift of $25 million to establish the Basser Research Center for BRCA at Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center. The Basser Center was named in honor of Faith Basser, Mindy's sister who died of ovarian cancer at the age of 44. It is the only center in the world dedicated to the treatment, prevention, and cure of BRCA-related cancers. In 2013, Mindy and Jon made an additional gift of $5 million which supports BRCA-related pancreatic cancer research and launched an external grants program that will fund BRCA-related science around the globe.
Susan and her daughter Anabel, have been at the helm of fundraisers for breast cancer organizations, staging multiple events for mothers and daughters including, 'Tickled Pink', and most recently 'Protect Your Girls', which showcased bras designed by teens to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Susan Getz, a longtime resident of NYC, has enjoyed a successful career in marketing and creative services in the fashion publishing and media industries, working at Harpers Bazaar and New York Woman magazines, Giorgio Armani, and Time Warner. She is currently a luxury residential real estate broker. Susan is honored to be a part of the leadership council and is looking forward to focusing her energies in support of the Basser Center.
Michele Konner is a proud “previvor” of BRCA1 after losing her mother to premenopausal breast cancer at the age of 56. With information and unprecedented technological advances, Michele feels very fortunate to have been diagnosed in October 2002 with BRCA1. She looks at this information as a gift and appreciates life with a very different perspective.
Michele would like to share her gratitude and help others who have higher genetic risks for ovarian and breast cancers. As a former lawyer with a B.A. in accounting, she brings with her practical and analytical skills to this very personal journey.
As a mother and a wife, she brings with her passion and enthusiasm to the search for new technologies in the care and ultimately elimination of hereditary cancers for future generations. Michele has been actively involved in numerous organizations over the years in an effort to create awareness and promote research to find a cure for the multitude of cancers that affect so many people around the world today.
Shari is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (BA '87) and of Fordham University School of Law ('90). She practiced Environmental Law in New York City at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel before retiring in 1999 to raise her three children. Shari lives in Scarsdale, NY, with her family where she is active in many community and school district activities. In addition, Shari mentors students at Harlem Village Academies.
Shari and her sister Mindy both lost their older sister Faith at the age of 44 to ovarian cancer. Until that time, they had never heard of the BRCA mutations. Shari and her husband, Len, established the Basser Global Prize initiative at the Center, which provides funding to world-renowned research in BRCA.
Shari is a passionate and tireless advocate for the Center and firmly believes in its role of raising awareness, counseling and treating patients, and conducting and sponsoring groundbreaking research which will benefit countless people who are touched by a BRCA mutation.
Jessica Queller is the author of the acclaimed memoir Pretty is What Changes (Random House, 2008), which chronicles her journey of inheriting the BRCA1 mutation from her mother. Jessica has written Op-Ed pieces on the subject for both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She has delivered speeches throughout the country, including keynote addresses at the annual FORCE conference in Florida, and at the Bright Pink gala in Chicago.
She has spoken about the BRCA gene extensively on television and radio, including Good Morning America, Nightline, Tavis Smiley, and NPR's Morning Edition. She is the recipient of the 2008 Hero Award from the Val Skinner Foundation and the 2007 Lynne Cohen Spirit Award, which she received along with her sister, Danielle Queller Lifton. Jessica is also a television writer/producer, and has written for shows that include Felicity, Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, Vegas, and most recently, The Carrie Diaries. She lives in Los Angeles with her 4-year-old daughter, Sophie.
Stacey Sager is an Emmy award winning reporter at WABC-TV, 'Eyewitness News', where she has covered news in the tri-state area since 1996. She is also a BRCA1 survivor of two cancers, and a concerned mother of two.
Stacey was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 30, and had a bilateral mastectomy. At 42, she went in for prophylactic surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes. That's when doctors found a pre-invasive ovarian cancer in her fallopian tubes.
Stacey speaks out often on how that surgery saved her life, and about the power of genetic testing. She remains dedicated to finding better answers for BRCA mutation carriers in the future, and has been actively involved with many organizations that work to create awareness about BRCA, breast and ovarian cancers, including FORCE, Teal Walk, Sharsheret, and the American Cancer Society.
Some people wish to remain anonymous to the public, but still make a tremendous impact, helping the Basser Center achieve its mission through their involvement, advocacy, and support.
To learn about how to become more involved in supporting the Basser Research Center for BRCA, contact Laura Ferraiolo or call (215) 746-2948.