Faces of Philanthropy: Steve Kaufer

“We have come a long, long way.”

When Steve Kaufer’s wife Caroline was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer, he began searching for experts who knew about the disease. There was almost no research out there.  He even considered the idea of setting up his own Foundation. Through Dr. Matt Kulke, who was his wife’s physician, he met Nancy Lindholm, who had started Caring for Carcinoid (CFC). 

Nancy was a “firehose of passion and drive.” She had created a high-powered Board of Scientific Advisors. “You want to invest in the vision and the people,” Steve says.  “They had the right focus and it matched my interest of investing in basic science that could be transformational.”  While Caroline died in 2005, Steve has maintained a commitment to supporting NET research.  Steve joined the CFC Board of Directors in 2007 and has continued on the NETRF Board ever since.  He served as Vice Chairman of the Board for several years and as Treasurer in 2016. 

Steve reflects on the growth of NETRF over 15 years and is proud of how the organization has gone from being Boston-focused to global. “If we looked at how much research into NETs was happening 15 years ago, there was spotty, occasional curiosity in the field.  When I look now at how many different labs are involved, the sheer amount of global activity is ten-fold.  A significant amount has been spawned by NETRF and we have a much higher level of work showing steady, consistent progress.”

He is also proud of the transformational gifts from the Margie and Robert E. Petersen Foundation to NETRF and the expansion of the Board of Directors.  An organization needs to always be growing and evolving to make a lasting difference. “We have come a long, long way.”

In recognition of 15 years of consecutive giving and his commitment to our Board, NETRF has named Steve Kaufer a member of our Founders Society.  We are honored by your commitment and outstanding support!