Friday, January 23, 2009

A gift in loving memory of a father

A SON'S GIFT: From left, David Harmon, MD, of the MGH Cancer Center; Matt Marrel; Ann Vermette, Justin's mother; Derek O'Connor; Justin Stanton; Tiffany Stanton, Justin's sister; Michael Riddell; Marie Riddell; Lauren Burgess; Jimmy Toscano; and Justin's grandparents Rosemarie and Emile Vermette

When his father Kenneth died of a brain tumor at age 48 in 2005, then 17-year-old Justin Stanton knew he wanted to honor his father's memory in a way that would help others. With this purpose in mind, Justin began raising support for cancer research and treatment at the MGH Cancer Center, where his father was treated. Since he began his mission in 2005, he has raised more than $170,000 for the MGH Cancer Center by coordinating a golf tournament, a walkathon and wristband campaign.

Justin presented the MGH with his most recent gift of $80,000 on Nov. 7 to the Kenneth Stanton Fund for Sarcoma, which he established in his father's honor, and the Dr. Mehmet Toner Fund, which supports research on an innovative microchip-based device developed at the MGH. The device, called the CTC-chip, detects and analyzes circulating tumor cells in the blood and may be an invaluable tool in monitoring and guiding cancer treatment.


Kenneth Stanton was diagnosed with bone cancer two months before Justin was born, and three years later he was diagnosed with the brain tumor. "He lived a full life for 17 years since his first diagnosis with help from the MGH," Justin says. "The MGH Cancer Center gave me the opportunity to grow up with my father."

For more information about the Kenneth Stanton Fund for Sarcoma or the Dr. Mehmet Toner Fund, contact Devon Fenwick of the MGH Development Office at

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