Paul Walker Schaffel was a 21-year-old senior at Wesleyan University when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and subsequently non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Paul began undergoing chemotherapy in December 2011 and instead of taking a medical leave from Wesleyan, he insisted upon completing the necessary coursework to graduate with his peers. Paul completed his senior thesis and received accolades for the brilliant work he did. He graduated with honors in the Spring of 2012 and was accepted into Harvard Law School. Paul’s dreams were cut short on September 16, 2012 and he never made it to Harvard.
Among Paul’s last wishes were for his mom, Ellen to create a foundation in his name to fund research and raise awareness about non-Hodgkin lymphoma so that other young people and their families would not share a similar fate.
The Paul Foundation was formed in September 2012, and immediately began raising money to fund research and awareness programs for adolescent and young adult lymphoma patients, an underserved population. The mission of The Paul Foundation is, among other things, to fund non-Hodgkin lymphoma research and provide those affected by the disease, their families and healthcare professionals with the tools to identify, treat and cure non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
In September 2013, The Paul Foundation contributed $400,000 to the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) and is proud to stand as the Founding Sponsor of their Adolescent and Young Adult Initiative, Erase Lymphoma, which will transform the lives of young people diagnosed with lymphoma.
The Paul Foundation was honored for its philanthropic work by the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center as a member of “the one hundred” in 2014.
Alongside the leadership of LRF’s Adolescent and Young Adult Initiative, now named Erase Lymphoma, The Paul Foundation was honored with the Distinguished Service Award at the LRF Annual Gala on October 8, 2014.
Commencing in 2013, The Paul Foundation participated in the annual holiday shopping event, Champions for Charity at The Americana Shopping Mall in Manhasset NY, which has raised millions to benefit variety of charities which included The Paul Foundation.
The Paul Foundation presented The Paul Foundation 2016 Collaborative Women in Science Award, The Paul Foundation 2017 Innovation Award and The Paul Foundation 2018 Innovation Award to Dr. Barbara Sherry at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the research enterprise of Northwell Health. Dr. Sherry studies Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and her laboratory continues to investigate the biological roles of these molecules in the body’s response to bacterial and viral infections and cancer.
Since its inception in September 2012, The Paul Foundation proudly committed more than $1 million to its mission. The Paul Foundation remains focused on keeping Paul’s memory and his selfless wishes to support other young adults through its fundraising activities.