Jean Pearlstein became involved with the Friends in 1983. After bringing a friend to Dana-Farber for treatment, she chose to volunteer in the Friends' gift shop. Subsequently, Jean and her husband Jerry, were asked to work on the committee for the second annual Friends' Gala, and they assumed the responsibility of co-chairing the third one.
Jean and her husband Jerry, who passed away in 2004, have two daughters, a son-in-law and two grandsons. Her daughter, Ellen, has a large Jimmy Fund Walk team and has walked the full marathon route for over 25 years, following in her father’s footsteps. Jean volunteered in the Newton school system where her children were educated, and was an active member of New England Villages, which provides support for adults with mental retardation. She also worked on a variety of events for other charities.
Jean says, "I was very honored to become a member of the Friends' Board and in 1986 became President, which was one of the outstanding experiences of my life. From 1986-1988 I was fortunate to be involved with an incredible group of people and an incredible Institute. At the end of my term, I was honored to be made a Trustee of the Institute, but I continued to be active with the Friends, a truly special organization."
As a Trustee, she was the first woman on the Executive Board of the Institute and sits on the Governance, Quality Assurance/Risk Management, Development and Communications Committees. For over 25 years she has been on the Institutional Review Board, which reviews new protocols and oversees the human protection aspect of them. In her spare time, Jean enjoys bridge, book club, investment club and a variety of the arts.
"The Friends has always been a dedicated and caring organization which gives time, energy, and compassion to the well-being of others. It changed my life, and I will always be proud to have been a part of it."