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!

Rest in Peace

From Left to right: Jennifer Montgomery, Eddie Montgomery, Troy Gentry and Angie Gentry attended the T.J. Martell Foundation’s Nashville Honors Gala on February 27, 2017.

It is with profound sadness that we share the news that our beloved friend Troy Gentry was involved in a fatal helicopter accident today. Troy was a devoted supporter of The T.J. Martell Foundation who gave his time and talent whenever he was asked. As part of the Platinum selling duo Montgomery Gentry, Troy was as magical on stage as he was in person.  He never strayed from giving of his time,  his voice and his celebrity to help the Foundation in its quest to find a cure for cancer. He was, without a doubt, the true definition of “giving.”  Troy Gentry has left an indelible mark on the Foundation and all of us who had the opportunity to work with and know him. We have been blessed to call him a friend and will work hard  to  continue his  legacy through the work he has supported for years. The world has lost a very special man. We offer our most sincere condolences to his family, friends and fans and will forever keep him in our heart.

We’re Hiring!

Hiring FacebookWe’re Hiring Part Time Office Assistants!

About the Foundation

The T.J. Martell Foundation is the music industry’s leading foundation that funds innovative medical research focused on finding treatments and cures for cancer. 


East Coast Office and Event Assistant – NY Office

  • East Coast Events

The Foundation’s annual East Coast events include the Women of Influence Awards, Family Day, New York Golf Classic, Rock n’ Bowl, New York Honors Gala, Best Cellars Wine Dinner, and Martell in Miami. 

Responsibilities for this position include:

  • Providing administrative support in the Foundation’s New York office: answering calls and taking messages, banking, maintaining supply inventory/office equipment and placing orders, shipping
  • Event support: working registration, handling silent auction set-up and checkout, etc.
  • Event-related planning and research (i.e. potential venues, sponsors, etc.)
  • Researching, soliciting and securing silent auction donations and maintaining inventory
  • Writing and editing various letters, agendas, etc.
  • Assisting with creation/editing of invitations, sponsorship materials, PowerPoint decks, signage, etc.
  • Overseeing spreadsheets (i.e. event budgets, guest lists)
  • Donor database and mailing list management as directed
  • Sending invoices and tax receipt letters
  • Communicating with Director of Communications to set up event web pages and coordinate social media as necessary
  • Grant writing
  • Coordinating and working with volunteers and interns
  • Contributing to East Coast team effort, as well as communicating and working with National staff
  • Other duties as directedPreferred Skills
  • Prior experience in events and/or fundraising a plus
  • Proficiency in all Office 365 programs (i.e. Excel, PowerPoint, Word/Mail Merge)
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent telephone manner
  • Professional attitude
  • Ability to multitask and work well with a team
  • Willingness to travel for events


National Office Assistant – Nashville Office

Responsibilities for this position include:

  • Performs administrative and office/event support activities
  • Assists with auction solicitations and facilitation of auction packages
  • Assists with Charitybuzz entry and record keeping
  • Assist with answering telephone calls and taking messages
  • Receiving and directing visitors
  • Word processing, creating spreadsheets and power point presentations, mail merge, etc.
  • Assist with general office operations including office upkeep, managing deliveries, filing, and load and unloading event materials
  • Database Management
  • Assists with event set up and event check out and other event related duties
  • Contributes to team success by performing related activities as needed.
  • Run financial errands as needed, i.e. picking up checks and running items for signatures
  • Other duties as directedPreferred Skills
  • Prior experience in events and/or fundraising a plus
  • Proficiency in all Office 365 programs (i.e. Excel, PowerPoint, Word/Mail Merge)
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent telephone manner
  • Professional attitude
  • Ability to multitask and work well with a team
  • Willingness to travel for events


The New York position reports directly to the East Coast Executive Director and at times the CEO and Senior Vice President of Operations.  The Nashville position reports directly to the Senior Vice President of Operations and at times the CEO.


Working Conditions

  • 30 – 39 hours weekly
  • Ability to travel for events when necessary
  • Working night and weekends as necessary
  • Ability to work long hours



  • Competitive hourly rate based on experience


Please send your resume and cover letter to:

Melissa Goodwin
Sr. VP of Operations

Celebrate National Dog Day

Macy“Macy Gray Heatherly loves spending time playing with her friends, especially kids. She enjoys Greenies, all of her toys and most of all, giving kisses to the many people who pet her,” says her owner, T.J. Martell Foundation CEO Laura Heatherly.

Today is National Dog Day. Please click here to make a donation to cancer research so that kids can grow up to have a puppy like Macy Gray. You’ll be supporting life-saving developments like our research at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.