Monday, July 27, 2015

Wonder Woman Walk

We are pleased to announce that the Jessica M. Berman Memorial Foundation has partnered with Tower Cancer Research Foundation to launch the inaugural Jessica M. Berman WONDER WOMAN WALK for Breast Cancer.  The Walk will be held on September 13, 2015 in Pacific Palisades, CA.  The proceeds from the Walk will benefit Tower Cancer Research Foundation, which provides funding for important and innovative breast cancer research and patient support services.  The event will celebrate breast cancer survivors and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease. Though Jessica passed away on August 24, 2014, at age 38, her legacy lives on through the WONDER WOMAN WALK.

To register to walk or make a donation, please go to  For updates and community information like Wonder Woman Walk on Facebook, or follow @WonderWomanWalk on Instagram or @JMBWalk on Twitter.  We look forward to walking together!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Formation of the Jessica M. Berman Memorial Fund

Jessica's family is pleased to announce the formation of the Jessica M. Berman Memorial Fund.  This initiative has been lovingly established to honor Jessica’s memory and continue her fight against breast cancer.  Please visit the Fund's website at

Since childhood, Jessica had an affinity for Wonder Woman, the warrior princess fighting for justice and peace.  She came to embody this heroine in her personal battle against breast cancer.  Diagnosed while she was five months pregnant with her son Leo, she became a tireless fighter for her life, and an inspiring advocate and a fundraiser for breast cancer research. 
The Jessica M. Berman Memorial Fund will fund selected breast cancer research institutes that Jessica supported or collaborated with. We are in advanced discussions with a particular Los Angeles-based cancer research foundation regarding a partnership that would include an annual family walk/fundraiser that, in combination with proceeds raised by this memorial fund, will support specified cancer research initiatives.  We expect to have more definitive details on this exciting partnership in the coming weeks ahead.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to the Fund, please send a check payable to The Jessica M. Berman Memorial Fund to the following address:
The Jessica M. Berman Memorial Fund
c/o Macquarie Capital (USA) Inc.
10250 Constellation Blvd
Suite 2250
Los Angeles, CA 90067

The Macquarie Group Foundation has generously agreed to match total donations made to The Jessica M. Berman Memorial Fund of up to $100,000—sharing in the goal of finding a cure for cancer and supporting those continuing to fight this horrible disease.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Farewell Our Beloved Jessica

This is the post that we hoped we would never have to write.  This is the post from the family to let all of Jessica’s friends and followers know that she lost her four-year battle with breast cancer last night in the comfort of her own home, surrounded by a handful of her closest family.  She was 38.

In the twenty days since her last post, Jessica orchestrated her own treatment, which was carried out by family and hospice caretakers.  Her protocol was a myriad of treatments threaded together from the information she found on her own, and through the help of friends in her cancer community, including the Rick Simpson Oil, Ayurvedic treatments, castor oil wraps, charcoal packs, health drinks, and even liquid morphine used sparingly to manage the pain.  We carried out as much as Jessica’s health allowed. 

Jessica believed that cancer, rather than being her master, was her teacher.  She recognized that some of the traditional western approaches did not work for her, so she applied the discipline of her professional life.  She opened her mind, listened to her doctors, became inspired reading other cancer blogs, and so read everything she could get her hands on.  She truly became a student of cancer.  In the end, she learned so much that she was advising her doctors and caretakers, based upon her own in-depth research.  Her approach paid off, as some of her adaptations to western medicine were later validated by independent medical research.

She shielded us from her own grief.  Her determination was steadfast, even after we were resigned to simply making her comfortable.   

Her last day was a summer Sunday.  She lay in a hospital bed, facing French doors open to a bright sky.  As evening approached, the sunset reflected radiant colors on the clouds above her.  Though she struggled with pain, she was ever aware of those in her presence.

People always speak of Jessica’s strength.  We also stand in awe of her strength and conviction.  She knew this, but always said that she was strong only because she had to be.  She couldn’t fathom why anyone would admire her when she never saw another option.  She developed the strength to be a self-made woman, forging a successful career in investment banking and private equity, and a fulfilling her plan to raise a family with a husband who loves her.  Her life may have been short, but she made sure that she accomplished everything she set out to do.  It was this strength that created the magnetism that drew us all to her, and this same strength that she called upon while battling cancer.

Her daughter Abby (5), saw her mom’s pain during these last weeks, and got to help by rubbing Mommy’s feet and putting moisturizer on her legs to make her feel better.  In so many ways, Abby and her brother Leo (3) have been preparing for this for their whole little lives.  They both inherited Jessica’s strength.

When someone is in cancer’s advanced stages, everybody around them feels helpless.  We see it in the outpouring of support from Jessica’s friends, her extended network, and even readers of her blog, as so many of you reach out to ask what you can do to help.  In her last weeks, Jess was aware of this support, and, when we hovered or inadvertently woke her up, she frequently preferred to escape to her phone to check in with your facebook, email and blog posts.

We’d like to thank you, too, for your love, support and encouragement during this struggle.  We are grateful to you.  Regardless of how well you know us, you inspired us as well as her.

It’s our hope and belief that Jess will be remembered for more than just her cancer, and hopefully Abby and Leo won’t be defined by the loss of their mother.  Jess is known for her strength, explaining why she has identified with Wonder Woman since she was five years old.  If strength was Jessica’s superpower, then it came from her gratitude and appreciation for life, coupled with her drive to be here for her husband and children.

It is important to acknowledge that on the outside, her last day was beautiful, but on the inside she was in a swift and sudden decline.  She was battling more pain than she had previously faced.  Our only silver lining was that it left no doubt that her passing was a much-needed relief from suffering.  It was not a pretty process, and in the end, the promise of the hemp oil and the morphine were still no match for the wrath of her aggressive cancer.  No matter how well a cancer patient is cared for, in the end, until we find a cure, this disease is more powerful and does more damage than we let ourselves believe. 

The family is in the process of establishing a memorial fund in conjunction with one or more cancer research institutes.  We expect to have more information in the coming days.  In lieu of flowers, we encourage donations to that fund, or any fund with the goal of finding a cure for this horrible disease.