BRENTWOOD—The Lynne Cohen Foundation was founded in 1998 to serve women who are facing an increasing risk for ovarian and breast cancer, according to the foundation’s website. Lynne Cohen’s youngest daughter, Amy Cohen Epstein, granted Canyon News an interview to discuss the foundation that was created in honor of her mother and the upcoming “Kickin’ Cancer! 5K Run/Walk/Stroll” in Brentwood and Los Angeles.
Lynne Cohen had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 48 in 1993. Her ovarian cancer was at stage two and after 5 years of struggling she succumbed to her cancer in January 1998 at the age of 53, Epstein told Canyon News. Epstein, her two older sisters, and her one younger brother wanted to create a foundation focused on preventative measures for the two cancers and create a legacy in honor of their mother’s life.
“A legacy of giving back, putting other people before herself, waking up each day and living life to the fullest,” Epstein said.
The Lynne Cohen Foundation has created four preventative care clinics with two in New York, one in Birmingham, and one in Los Angeles at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. The clinics are made up of multi-disciplinary teams of doctors and specialists that assess the risk of cancer for the individual woman.
“Ovarian cancer is a disease that when caught early has a really high rate of being cured,” Epstein indicted. “If ovarian cancer is caught early there is a 95 percent chance of survival.”
When ovarian cancer is caught in the late stage the survival rates drop dramatically. Epstein took control of the foundation at the age of 21 and has run it for the last 15 years. She wanted to have preventative measures both ovarian and breast cancers at the clinics, and the clinics will offer genetic counseling and testing. This will help find each individual’s potential risk to the cancer’s and give them the tools to stay healthy. So far the clinics have seen around 10,000 women, caught cancer and empowered women to be in control of their health.
“I went through the clinic when I was in my twenties and I was, you know, petrified of what I would find out of what would be my risk having my mom diagnosed and passing away so young from ovarian cancer,” Epstein said. “But, I left feeling like I was in control of my health and wellness, and that is our ultimate goal: to empower women to be knowledgeable and in control of their health and wellness in a real way.”
One of the things that Epstein focused on in the interview was that the Lynne Cohen Foundation also focuses on building intimate connections. She said that the doctors and specialists focus on building relationships with their patients, and she has built intimate relationships with the directors at each of the clinics. The foundation receives community support through donations and fundraiser events, but they also help create tribute funds for people who have lost someone or know someone who has been diagnosed with ovarian or breast cancer.
“Well, let’s start a tribute fund where you can either go out and you raise money in whichever fashion you like, whatever kind of fundraiser works for you and your group, and you do it in the name of the person you lost or the person you are honoring,” Epstein described tribute funds.
The upcoming fundraiser event “Kickin’ Cancer! 5K Run/Walk/Stroll” will be held in Brentwood and Los Angeles. The event also commemorates the 15 year anniversary of the Lynne Cohen Foundation. Epstein told Canyon News that the event is fun for all ages and there will be an expo with members from the health and wellness community. The event takes place Sunday, October 2, and registration is currently open.