The Inspirational Story of Cancer Patient Ben Jumper

BenHe supported cancer research for years — and now, Music Row leader Ben Jumper is fighting the disease himself.

“Your whole life changes the minute the word cancer is said.”

Surgeons removed half his kidney, and doctors, after five years of clean scans, started to use the word survivor.

Jumper started giving talks to raise awareness about cancer research, and to offer them hope.

The fundraisers he organized for T.J. Martell Foundation became much more personal.

And then, five months ago, the devastating lung cancer diagnosis – and 33 radiation treatments and 11 rounds of chemotherapy.

“I really in the last year can say how blessed I’ve been because I’m truly living my dream. I know it’s a cliché, but I get to say it and mean it. I have my days of depression through all this. But I love every moment I get to spend with the family,” says longtime T.J. Martell Foundation board member Ben Jumper.

Click here to read the full article in The Tennessean.

The Loss of a True Friend and Supporter

James HollandIt is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. James Holland, one of the T.J. Martell Foundation’s earliest supporters and a leading medical expert in the field of cancer research. Dr. Holland and Tony Martell were  brought together when Tony’s son T.J. was diagnosed with leukemia many years ago.  Dr. James Holland treated T.J. and then became a founding research doctor of the T.J.  Martell Foundation.

Over the past four decades Dr. Holland made incredible contributions to the Foundation by providing countless referrals and consultations to cancer patients along with leadership in the area of  ground-breaking research and new treatments.  Holland was a Distinguished Professor of Neoplastic Diseases at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He received many prestigious awards including the Lasker Award for his work in cancer chemotherapy, the  American Cancer Society National Award, the Distinguished  Scientific Award of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and many other honorary degrees.  He received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.

“Dr. Holland was a very fine gentleman and a magnificent physician. His impact on the T.J. Martell Foundation was profound,” said Joel A. Katz chairman of the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “He pioneered new horizons in oncology care and research. We will celebrate the gifts he shared with us for years to come.”

“The world has lost one of the most innovative, nurturing, and extraordinary experts in his field. Dr. Holland was a true friend to the Martell family, Tony’s foundation and the many patients he treated and cared for over the years,” said Laura Heatherly, CEO of the Foundation. “We will miss him.”


The loss of a pioneer

JimmieThe T.J. Martell Foundation ​has lost a remarkable woman who has played an integral role in the fight against cancer. Dr. Jimmie C. Holland, M.D., Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, passed away on December 24, 2017. Holland was a trailblazer in the field of medicine. As the founder of the sub-specialty of Psycho-Oncology in 1977,​ Dr. Holland launched the Psychiatry Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and under her leadership, Memorial’s Psychiatry Service became the country’s leading training and research program dedicated to the field.​ Dr. Holland received the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Pioneer Award at the Foundation’s Women of Influence Awards in 2015 for her leadership and vision of founding one of the most important areas of cancer research, Psycho-Oncology. ​”Jimmie was a major force in our scientific research platform for the T.J. Martell Foundation,” said Laura Heatherly, CEO of the Foundation. “She was a special leader, mentor and pioneer that helped many people. She will be sorely missed by us all.​”​

A Dear Friend Lost to Cancer

Bill-HearnWe are incredibly saddened to share the news that our longtime supporter, friend and former board member Bill Hearn lost his battle with cancer this past weekend. A highly respected music industry executive who led the Nashville-based Capitol Christian Music Group (CCMG) as its Chairman & CEO, Bill was a beloved and very important part of our Foundation for many years and we will feel his loss for years to come.
Among his numerous accomplishments, Bill received the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Frances Preston Lifetime Music Industry Achievement Award at our Nashville Honors Gala in 2015 for his incredible contribution to the music industry. Bill was a past National Chairman, National Board and Executive Committee Member of the T.J. Martell Foundation, and was involved in many other charities through the generosity of the Hearn Family Charitable Foundation.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Charmion Gustke Hearn, two sisters, a niece and nephew as they grieve his passing from this devastating disease. To learn more about Bill’s incredible life and the way he is being remembered by fellow industry executives, please visit:

Message from Holly Hearn Whaley:

Thank you all for your kindness and prayers.  My big brother, Bill, was my super hero and beloved friend.  I can’t imagine this world without him. It’s taken two days for us to find a place for the memorial service and visitation.  Please spread the word for me.

William (Bill) Ray Hearn died December 10, 2017.  58 years old.

Visitation will be Wednesday, December 13, from 4 -7 p.m. at The Village Chapel church 2021 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN and services on Thursday, December 14 at 2 p.m. at Brentwood Baptist Church in Hudson Hall, 7777 Concord Road, Brentwood, TN 37027 (Connection Center entrance).

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Thistle Farms via Thistle

Marshall-Donnelly-Combs, (615) 327-1111.

Patient Spotlight: A Grateful Heart

Allison Ruth

Allison and Ruth Schwartz

When Allison Schwartz’s grandmother Ruth aka Bubbie was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer, she wasn’t sure where to turn. But thanks to her mentor in the entertainment industry and the help of the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Patient Services Program, Bubbie was able to connect with the appropriate doctor to aid in her care and treatment.

“Marty Diamond, head of East Coast Music for Paradigm Talent Agency, is a mentor of mine and has been involved with the T.J. Martell Foundation for years. As soon as I said I needed to talk to him about my grandmother who was diagnosed with cancer, he and his associate Sara Foster were on the phone making calls on our family’s behalf,” says Allison, who works at Paradigm in New York City. “Thanks to Marty and Sara, I was on the phone with the Foundation’s CEO Laura Heatherly within two hours, trying to get my grandmother into Sloan Kettering where she wanted to go.”

Allison Grandparents

Allison with her grandparents at Paradigm in New York City.

“Laura immediately called a contact at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center who suggested that she reach out to an oncologist at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University who had recently transferred to continue her work in ovarian cancer research and care,” said Allison. My grandmother was able to be seen by Dr. Jane Meisel who has been a wonderful help to her. It was a miracle that Laura helped Bubbie find Dr. Meisel, because Bubbie and Papa, along with the majority of our family, actually lives in Atlanta, so she did not have to travel for chemo treatments. This made her as comfortable as possible, and she was surrounded by our family at all times.”

The T.J. Martell Foundation’s Patient Services Program helps cancer patients connect with oncologists around the country for care and treatment. Thanks to the program, Ruth was able to be treated by Dr. Meisel in Atlanta and have a special surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering.


Ruth during chemo.

“It’s miraculous, miraculous, miraculous to be able to have this surgery at Sloan Kettering. With the kind of cancer I have, they sent me to palliative care but I am a vital 79 years old and even the doctor at Emory couldn’t believe I was her patient,” explains Ruth. “With a lot of love, support, prayers, good doctors and the right referral from Laura, we got me in the hands of the right oncologist. After just three chemo treatments, the CT scan showed just one spot of cancer instead of 50 so now we’re going for surgery at Sloan with surgeons who many people consider to be the best in America. Hopefully that will give me an extended period of life. Without my granddaughter, I would not have gotten to Laura. And without Laura, I would not have been able to get into Winship and Sloan and I got in in just a few days. It’s been great and this referral has been so helpful. This doctor is brilliant and kind and loving. Our whole family loves and trusts Laura.”

Allison will be forever grateful for the guidance of the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Patient Services Program. “Because there were so many unknowns with a diagnosis like this, we felt so lucky that the Foundation helped us make a plan for something that doesn’t really have a plan. It’s so good to know that in this crazy world with so many terrible things going on, there are still such good people. I feel so fortunate to have access to the support and friendship they’ve given my grandmother and we’re forever grateful!”

The Loss of a Pioneer

LizLiz Smith was a pioneer who helped pave the way for women throughout the industry. The T.J. Martell Foundation had the privilege of honoring her at The Women of Influence Awards in New York in 2013. We will always remember her fierce energy, wit and exuberant personality, as well as her willingness to help the Foundation. She will be very missed. 

For Liz Smith’s obituary in The New York Times, click here.

Guest Post from Breast Cancer Survivor Patty Steele

Patty Steele Cropped
We are excited to honor CBS Radio Co-Host Patty Steele at our New Jersey Harvest Moon Dinner on Sunday, November 5th. Patty shares her journey through breast cancer…
My run in with breast cancer began in July of 2014. Little did I know that, as one of the biggest challenges in my life, it would also become my greatest opportunity for growth as a person. One of my go to affirmations at the time, as it continues to be, is a quote from Albert Camus . .

“In the depth of winter
I finally learned
That there was within me
An invincible summer.”

When we’re presented with challenges in life, we learn to recognize and access that invincible summer . . .our own strength and the strength of those around us. I found new depth and beauty in my relationships with my family, my friends, my co-workers, and even total strangers. I discovered an enormous group of people dedicated to the cause of defeating breast cancer and to helping the women and men impacted by it, to triumph both physically and psychologically. What a beautiful lesson to learn!  My doctors, nurses, and caregivers at Mt. Sinai’s Dubin Breast Center never failed to maintain an astonishing sense of joy and purpose.

Here I am about 3 years after my surgery and follow up chemo, incredibly well, incredibly happy, and incredibly strong. I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for this experience and where it’s taken me . . but most especially for the people who’ve given so much intellectually, financially, and emotionally to make amazing strides against this disease. It’s because of you that moving beyond this can be my experience and the experience of thousands of women and men who are touched by breast cancer. Whether you’re on the hospital battlefields, in the business of raising funds for the fight and out reach, or volunteering to run or work events, you are an angel and you have my undying gratitude.

We hope you can join us as we honor Patty at our New Jersey Harvest Moon Dinner on November 5th. For details and tickets, please click here.

Update from our friend Royce!

21742102_10213293317383984_305512668_oSeptember is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and we are honored to support patients like Royce every day on their journey to health. The T.J. Martell Foundation was in close touch with Royce’s mother, Jess, when he was diagnosed at eight years old and quickly connected the family with the outstanding team at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where we have funded lifesaving cancer research for decades.

“I beat cancer when I was eight years old. I want to thank Dr. Seeger for giving me hope so that I could stay at home and be with my dog instead of being in a hospital room getting cancer treatment.” Royce is a CHLA ambassador now because of what oncology did for him.

21754832_10213288507103730_1715010333_o“To this day we see Dr. Siegel’s photo hanging proudly in the CHLA lobby every time we visit and we thank about how nice it was to feel that level of support all the way from the head of the whole operation!”

Keep riding, Royce!