Sisters Marilyn Wallace and Sami Freedman, originally from Omaha, Nebraska, were raised in San Francisco and moved to Los Angeles in 1966. The sisters share a lot of passions, including world travel, boating, theater and volunteering. But what they value most is the gift of their close relationship with each other. “Sami and I are like one person in two bodies,” shares Marilyn, “and we are much alike in many ways and very different in many ways.” They also share a passion for helping others and finding a cure for cancer.
Marilyn and Sami’s connection to City of Hope also reaches back to the 1950s, when their uncle was treated for leukemia at City of Hope. They later learned that Marilyn’s father-in-law also moved his family across the country – in the 1930s – from New York to receive treatment at City of Hope.
Their interest deepened through their friendships with committed City of Hope supporters Shirley and Isadore (Izzy) Familian. As a City of Hope board member for many years, Izzy continually shared his enthusiasm and support for City of Hope’s work. His passion inspired Marilyn and Sami, who said “I think he would be very proud to see our involvement now.”
In 2017, their friends Stephan and Linda Tow brought them to visit City of Hope. While the sisters have long been involved in supporting cancer care and research, their visit turned their philanthropic focus to City of Hope. Later, they met Steven T. Rosen, M.D., provost and chief scientific officer, and the Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director’s Distinguished Chair, and they felt an immediate connection with him as he shared his scientific vision for City of Hope.
Their personal connections with City of Hope and their interest in supporting innovative research have placed City of Hope at the forefront of their many philanthropic interests. “Their work reaches beyond California – it will help people all over the world,” says Marilyn. They have established the Rosinsky, Silver, Wallace, Freedman Innovator Endowed Fund through their estate plans, with the goal of advancing cancer research by accelerating early-stage research into clinical trials that will create more novel therapies and save lives.
“Neither of us have children so this will be our legacy. We want to honor our treasured parents, Art and Ruth Rosinsky, and our precious ‘bubbe’ (grandmother) Sara Silver, along with our beloved late husbands George Wallace and Bob Freedman. What better way to do this than to include City of Hope in our estate plans, hoping that our loved ones will be remembered and our gift will fund new discoveries and help City of Hope find a cure for cancer.”