Newsletter | Give to the Unexpected | Donor Spotlights
Invest in brighter prospects for others by paying tribute to a loved one

Stan and Ellen Magidson recently invested in breast cancer research, with the hopes of providing a better future to others after the passing of two of their loved ones.

Stan Magidson has tragically lost two sisters to cancer. The first was Marsha and most recently Deborah who passed on October 10, 2019. Both sisters had “BRCA” gene mutations (BReastCAncer gene).   

Stan, and his wife Ellen, began their relationship with the Weizmann Institute in 1996 in Toronto when the couple’s daughter Kaylie was just a year old.   

The couple have spent years devoted to the Institute, including most notably helping start a Calgary chapter, and Stan serving on both the national and international boards. The couple’s son Jordan has also been involved with the Calgary chapter of the Weizmann League.  

In November 2019, Stan and Ellen were at the Weizmann Institute of Science campus for the International Board Meeting, shortly after Deborah’s passing. At that time, they knew that they wanted to set up a tribute for Stan’s sisters but they didn’t know where they could direct it.   

“It’s too late for Deborah and Marsha, but we hope that prospects will be brighter for others in the future,” says Stan.  

The Weizmann team introduced the Magidsons to Dr. Ruth Scherz-Shouval in the Department of Biomolecular Sciences. Her lab focuses on functional reprogramming in the tumor microenvironment.   

“Stan and I had a heartfelt meeting with Dr. Scherz-Shouval, and we were very impressed by her intellect and talent,” says Ellen. “She is taking on one of the most confounding challenges in cancer research today – and that is the BRCA gene. Her work is very promising and we’re hopeful that future generations will have a cure because of Dr. Scherz-Shouval and her team.”  

The Magidson’s tribute gift will fund a master’s scholarship within Scherz-Shouval’s lab.   

“What continues to really amaze and impress us is the sheer curiosity and lack of boundaries of the scientists at the Weizmann Institute,” adds Stan. “They’re allowed to explore their curiosity and it almost seems like no problem is too large to start thinking about for potential avenues for research.”   

Stan and Ellen Magidson live in Calgary, AB. They have two children, Kaylie and Jordan, who are Western University and University of Calgary grads who also value curiosity and philanthropy. Tribute gifts can be made online at weizmann.ca/ways-to-give or by contacting us. 

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