The Story of “Jimmy” and the Jimmy Fund

Jimmy Fund pic

Jimmy Fund
Image: jimmyfund.org

While vice president and general manager of the American Superconductor Corporation Wires Business Unit, Angelo Robert Santamaria developed the first manufacturing capability for a commercially available wire superconductor. In addition to his work with American Superconductor and other engineering companies like Oasys Water and Panelclaw, Angelo R. Santamaria supports the Jimmy Fund.

Founded in 1948, the Jimmy Fund was created when the Variety Club of New England held a radio broadcast featuring Dr. Sidney Farber’s 12-year-old leukemia patient Einar (Jimmy) Gustafson. During the broadcast, the Boston Braves baseball team –Gustafson’s heroes–visited him in the hospital. The show had asked listeners to donate funds for a TV set so that Jimmy could watch Braves games, but surpassed its goal and raised more than $200,000. From there, the Jimmy Fund transformed from a one-time good will effort into a fundraising organization dedicated to supporting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Sidney Farber founded the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and played an instrumental role in developing the modern chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Gustafson, called “Jimmy” to safeguard his identity, went on to appear at many of the foundation’s early events. After he withdrew, the public assumed he had died, as prognoses for children with cancer were dire at the time. In truth, Gustafson survived his cancer and went on to have children and grandchildren. He returned to the public eye on the 50th anniversary of that initial radio show and received recognition as an honorary Jimmy Fund chairman.

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