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The one hundred honoree: T.J. Martell Foundation

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: T.J. Martell Foundation

Mass General Giving

The T. J. Martell Foundation began with a promise from a father to a son. T.J. Martell asked his father, music industry executive Tony Martell, to raise one million dollars for leukemia research. Such lifesaving work had enabled the young man, who was afflicted with leukemia, to reach his 19th birthday, two years beyond his original prognosis. T.J. died later that year, and Tony, along with other music industry executives, artists and friends, upheld the promise and organized their first fund-raising event, a concert in September 1975 at Buddy Rich’s club in New York City. The night was a huge success — and the start of even greater fulfillment of a father’s promise to his son. That night, Tony founded the T.J. Martell Foundation to honor his son and help others who suffer from devastating diseases. Aimed at saving lives, the nonprofit foundation has grown into a nationwide organization and raised more than $225 million to benefit eight flagship research centers developing early-stage, innovative treatments and cures for leukemia, cancer and AIDS.