Judi Kaufman lived with brain cancer for 18 years. She didn't battle it so much as embrace it, calling her tumor "Friendly." That was in keeping with the vivacious spirit of this community activist, artist, and entrepreneur.
Following her first diagnosis in 1999 at UCLA, Kaufman did not retreat. In fact, she believed that the cancer unleashed her creativity and gave her a new purpose. With a resilient and optimistic spirit, she founded Art of the Brain (AOB), a program to support Dr. Timothy Cloughesy's brain cancer research at UCLA. Based on Kaufman's experience and vision, AOB focuses on creativity as a vehicle to help brain cancer patients thrive emotionally in the face of the debilitating disease. AOB has raised more than $7 million for brain cancer research at UCLA.
Kaufman died in 2015, days before the 16th annual AOB gala. Her husband, Roy Kaufman, is carrying on her legacy of caring and commitment with a combined pledge of $2.2 million to support AOB and neurology research.
"Judi wanted to see AOB at UCLA continue to help survivors. It was her great passion, and I am happy to be able to contribute to keep it going," says Kaufman. The gifts name the Judi Kaufman Gallery in the Peter Morton 200 Medical Plaza Building and the Judi Kaufman Lobby in the Reed Neurological Research Center. Her name — as her courage — endures and continues to inspire.
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