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Berlin earns stomach cancer foundation award

May. 30, 2013, 9:02 AM

Jordan Berlin, M.D., professor of Medicine and Ingram Professor of Cancer Research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, has received the Tree of Life award from Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer (DDF).

Jordan Berlin, M.D.

The foundation is dedicated to raising awareness about stomach cancer, advancing funding for research and providing education and support internationally to patients, families and caregivers.

Berlin received the award at the recent Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer annual Dream Makers Gala, which was attended by more than 500 guests. Berlin also was one of the speakers at DDF’s 3rd Annual Stomach Cancer Education Symposium earlier that day.

Berlin serves on the Medical Advisory Board for DDF and has been an active member and participant.

“Stomach cancer is one of the most common and deadly cancers in the world, and it doesn’t receive the attention and funding that is needed to combat the disease,” said Berlin, director of the Phase 1 Program and clinical director of the GI Oncology Program at VICC. “I am honored to receive this recognition from Debbie’s Dream Foundation.”

The foundation was launched in 2009 by founder and president Debbie Zelman while she was undergoing intensive treatments for Stage IV stomach cancer. She was a 40-year-old wife, mother, and attorney at the time of diagnosis and she has since dedicated her time to raising awareness and funds for stomach cancer research and patient and family support programs.

The tree of life logo originally used by the foundation was modeled after the enormous Royal Poinciana tree that grew outside of Zelman’s bedroom window where she lay sick for months at a time. The tree’s blooms served as an inspiration to Zelman and thus the Tree of Life Medical Award is given to individuals who provide important support to the foundation to accomplish the mission of curing stomach cancer.

Foundation executives said Berlin embodies the spirit of that award.

For more information about DDF, visit

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