Faces of Philanthropy:
The Firsty Family

Finding Solace and Support in the Moonlight

It is a tradition that goes back to 2009. When the night comes sooner and gets cooler, the sweatshirts come out, and so do the participants of the Palo Alto Moonlight Walk. The family of Julie Seltzer Firsty, often accompanied by friends, walks in her memory to support a cure for neuroendocrine cancer. 

Over the past 10+ years, the Firsty family event has raised more than $65,000 for NETRF. The Firsty family found knowledge, hope, and kinship through NETRF. “We had the ability to learn so much more about the disease and meet the doctors at the many patient conferences,” said Julie’s husband and caregiver, Wayne Firsty, Campbell CA. “We met others going through the same journey, and it was good to share ideas and stories to learn from each other.” 

Julie fought valiantly against neuroendocrine cancer for more than five years.  In the early days of the annual walk, she updated the participants on her progress. 

“While there is no cure for people like me (whose cancer is not surgically removable), progress is being made in trials to stabilize these tumors, so people with the diagnosis can live years with a good quality of life. But more needs to be done so one day a cure can be found. The only way we can keep making progress is if there is more money for research. I’m on my fifth different type of chemo now. Please help me raise money so more options can be found.”

This year’s walk was a little different due to the pandemic. The Firstys completed the walk on a nearby trail in their neighborhood, but spiritually and emotionally, they were all together in the quest to make a difference. 

Wayne shared, “Julie went above and beyond partaking in numerous research trials,” said her husband, Wayne. “We will do no less to help NETRF find a cure.”

For his generous gifts to NETRF and for rallying your community for the Palo Alto Moonlight Walk, we have named Wayne Firsty to NETRF’s Champion Society. We are grateful for your continuing support. 

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