Back Bay’s Warshaw Hosts Upcoming MGH Luncheon

On Friday, May 17, the Friends of the Mass General Cancer Center will host a spring luncheon for about 300 guests at Four Seasons featuring local authors Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, who wrote The New York Times bestselling children’s book Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship.

Over the past 30 years, The Friends of the Mass General Cancer Center has raised $6.5 million. The Friends utilize 100 percent of all donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to fund supportive care services for people living with cancer. 

“When we think about supporting patients with cancer, many people think about research and the pursuit of a cure,” said President of the Friends Council and Back Bay resident Brenda Flavin Warshaw. “The Friends of the Mass General Cancer Center understand that while medical treatment and research are essential for curing the disease, supportive care is what improves a patient’s daily life and makes every day a little easier and a little better.”

The keynote speakers for this event are connected to Massachusetts General Hospital. Jessica Kensky was an MGH oncology nurse when she and her husband Patrick Downes were critically injured at the Boston Marathon bombing. At the time, they were newlyweds enjoying a day off in the city together. Jessica immediately had her left leg removed below the knee and eventually lost her right leg below the knee, after nearly two years of limb salvage surgeries and complications. Patrick lost his left leg below the knee.

In September 2013, Jessica and Patrick gained a new family member when they received a service dog from NEADS World Class Service Dogs, a black lab named Rescue. Jessica is now back to work part time on Yawkey 8 at MGH, while Patrick is a psychology fellow at the MGH Home Base Program.

MaryLynn Antonellis, Marion Martignetti and Leslie McCafferty are co-chairing this special event that will bring people together to raise funds and awareness for the Friends, a group of volunteers who tirelessly bridge exceptional medical and supportive cancer care through innovative programs that promote whole-person healing.

“Our spring luncheon is a chance to connect, spend some time together and reflect,” said luncheon co-chair Marion Martignetti. “It’s a time to remember why we do what we do – make a true difference in the daily lives of patients and their families.”

The Friends of the Mass General Cancer Center Spring Luncheon will take place on Friday, May 17, 2019, at 11:30 a.m. at Four Seasons Boston Hotel, 200 Boylston Street, Boston, MA. Tickets are $200. For tickets and more information, visit

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