Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer Celebrates a Year of Impactful Programs and Community Support in 2023

DDF acknowledges critical support from industry partners that helped make the year successful.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Jan. 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer (DDF) proudly wraps up an impactful year, delivering crucial resources and support to the stomach cancer community, thanks to the unwavering commitment of 2023 industry partners. The support from generous sponsors has allowed DDF to continue vital programs and initiate new endeavors. This year, DDF worked closely with sponsors such as Amgen, Arcus, Astellas, Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), Daiichi Sankyo (DSI), Genentech, Lilly Oncology, Merck, Taiho Oncology, and Zymeworks, whose dedication has been instrumental in advancing various programs, ensuring DDF’s continued service to patients, their families, and caregivers.

At the top of the year, DDF hosted its Inaugural Patient Advocate Retreat during its 11th Annual Stomach Cancer Capitol Hill Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. The event added to the foundation’s continued efforts to increase funding through the federal government for gastric cancer research. It featured nutrition, genetics, and mental health presentations and an interactive art therapy session for patient advocates. Platinum Sponsor Merck supported the retreat, Gold Sponsors Amgen and Astellas, Bronze Sponsor Taiho Oncology, and Supporting Sponsor Stupid Strong.

For the 2023 Symposia series, DDF collaborated with Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, to host a Stomach Cancer Educational Symposium. Later in the year, we hosted the Ask the Experts Symposium in Aventura, Florida, where patients had common questions answered by medical experts. These programs were supported by National Platinum Sponsors BMS, Merck, and Zymeworks, Platinum Sponsor Arcus Biosciences, Gold Sponsor Amgen, National Silver Sponsor Taiho Oncology, and Silver Sponsor Lilly Oncology.

For its international efforts, DDF worked with the International Gastric Cancer Association to participate in the 15th Annual International Gastric Cancer Congress’s Patient Advocacy Session. DDF’s patient advocates were honored to travel to Yokohama, Japan, to represent the patients’ voices and amplify the importance of patient advocacy in healthcare globally, thanks to the generosity of Title Sponsor BMS and Silver Sponsor Amgen.

“DDF is proud to continue to collaborate with industry leaders who are passionate about changing the landscape for gastric cancer patients worldwide,” said Andrea Eidelman, Chief Executive Officer of DDF. “The reason we can continue to strive towards our mission of eradicating gastric cancer is thanks to the help of these critical partnerships, which make all of our efforts possible, and we’re very grateful for that.”

DDF hosted five webinars covering integrative medicine, surgical options, radiation therapy, ASCO 2023 updates, and clinical trials. Supporters of DDF webinars include title sponsors Amgen, Astellas, and Merck; platinum sponsor Taiho Oncology; gold sponsor Arcus Biosciences; and silver sponsors BMS and Lilly Oncology.

This year’s Nutrition Program featured four seasonal Facebook Live cooking demonstrations with Emmy Nominated Chef Nathan Lyon and Clinical Oncology Dietician Mary-Eve Brown. Gold Sponsor Merck, Silver Sponsor Amgen, Copper Sponsor BMS, and Bronze Sponsor DSI supported this program.

In addition, through its Patient Resource and Education Program, the Monthly Stomach Cancer Support Groups and the Mind, Body Spirit Facebook Live Series were supported by Silver Sponsor Amgen, Bronze Sponsors DSI and Merck, and Copper Sponsors BMS and Lilly Oncology, 

This year, DDF expanded its Health Equity Program to include an Understanding Barriers to Health Webinar and increased collaboration with community organizations such as the United Way of Broward County, Gilda’s Club of South Florida, the YMCA of South Florida, and Deerfield Beach Community Cares, each serving minority populations who are disproportionately affected by gastric cancer. Their collaborative efforts helped educate and provide holiday meals, critical gastric cancer statistics and information, and gift cards to help support veterans, their families, and underserved communities. DDF could not continue to expand its efforts and help make healthcare more equitable without the support of Title Sponsor Merck, Silver Sponsors Amgen and Taiho Oncology, Bronze Sponsors Arcus Biosciences, Astellas, BMS, and Genentech, and Copper Sponsor Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

For more information about DDF programs and initiatives, please visit

About Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer

DDF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about gastric cancer, advancing research funding, and providing international education and support to patients, families, and caregivers. DDF’s ultimate goal is to make the cure for stomach cancer a reality. 

DDF was founded in 2009 by Debbie Zelman after she was diagnosed with stage IV incurable gastric cancer in 2008 and given only weeks to live. Debbie is considered a pioneer by many for bringing awareness to the plight of stomach cancer patients worldwide, as well as to the lack of federal funding for stomach cancer research. She did all of this while receiving hundreds of rounds of chemo and daily oral treatments. Debbie passed away on December 23, 2017, at 50, almost a decade later. As a result of her leadership, DDF now has a Scientific and Medical Advisory Board of world-renowned doctors and chapters throughout the U.S. and Canada, and Germany. DDF strives to continue Debbie’s mission to make her dream a reality. To learn more, visit

Media Contact:
Brittnay Starks, Communications Director
Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer (954) 475-1200

SOURCE Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer