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The one hundred honoree: The Paul Foundation

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: The Paul Foundation

Mass General Giving

Paul Walker Schaffel was diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) at age 21 — but he never gave up his dreams, even in the face of daunting and unsuccessful treatments over the course of 10 months. He finished his college degree at Wesleyan University, completed his honors thesis and walked in his graduation ceremony. He was even accepted to Harvard Law School, but soon realized he would not be able to fulfill this dream. Before his passing, he requested that his family establish a foundation to promote awareness of ALCL on college campuses, to help ensure that other students wouldn’t meet the same tragic fate.

Today, The Paul Foundation has raised more than $440,000 to fund programs that educate students, parents and healthcare professionals about early detection of lymphoma, and support innovative research in partnership with the Lymphoma Research Foundation. Paul’s mother, Ellen, says, “Paul never allowed cancer to define him. He charged me with making certain that his form of lymphoma and the events surrounding his untimely death would ultimately and selflessly benefit other young adults afflicted with cancer. Paul wanted me to create a legacy of caring for his peers. The outpouring of support for my darling son and his vision is breathtaking. It is a tribute to his vision and evidence of the love he engendered in friends and family.” Paul’s legacy lives on through his family’s implementation of his vision to protect and support other young people.