Supporting Patient & Family Support Services


Our supporters are vital partners in the quest to improve the lives of those dealing with cancer or other complex illnesses. Donations help us to provide care that would not otherwise be available, support pilot programs and innovations in care, enhance training and education, and fund research centered on providing excellent care for patients and their families. We strive to make the most of every gift, with 94% of any donation going directly to support our care, educational, or research programs.

Giving to Support Our Programs

The support of grateful patients and friends — like you — is vital to all we do. Your generosity can make a major impact on our patients’ lives through our Patient and Family Support Services. All of the methods below will help you direct your gifts to the Patient Empowerment Fund (F-2321), which supports Patient & Family Support Services in the development and implementation of state-of-the-art, comprehensive psychosocial services at Moores Cancer Center.

  • To donate online, please visit UC San Diego Online Giving. By using this link, your gift will be directed to the Patient Empowerment Fund, which benefits Patient & Family Support Services.
  • To donate by phone, please call the Moores Cancer Center Development Office, (858) 534-8439 and direct your gift to the Patient Empowerment Fund, F-2321.
  • To donate by mail, please use the Make a Gift form. Under “Please tell us where to direct this gift,” click the button next to “For the following area of cancer research and care” and enter in the box: Patient Empowerment Fund, F-2321.
  • To discuss planned giving, please contact Sandy Liarakos, Executive Director of Development, or (858) 246-1569. Through planned giving, donors can include a gift to a charitable institution in their estate plan and take advantage of tax benefits. Gifts to UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center can be made to a specific program or service, such as counseling, writing workshop, acupuncture, music therapy or support groups. If you are leaning toward a particular use for your gift but are unsure about the specifics, we can help you identify potential funding opportunities.

For questions or more information please contact Sandy Liarakos, Executive Director of Development,  or 858-246-1569, or Dr. Scott Irwin, Director of Patient & Family Support Services, or 858-822-5381.

Fundraising Events

Celebrate Hope Reception and Dinner: Extraordinary Caregiver of the Year

Susan Goldfarb Pidgeon

Each year's Celebrate Hope event honors an extraordinary caregiver. In November 2014, we recognized Susan Goldfarb Pidgeon for her strong leadership and for making an incredible difference for people receiving cancer treatment and their families. Susan knows from firsthand experience how important patient and family support programs and services are. Her husband, Larry, was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, just 15 months after they were married. Susan supported and cared for her husband during his treatment. She learned from the hundreds of appointments how critical it is to understand and access all of the services offered at Moores Cancer Center. Sadly, Susan lost her husband in 2012 — yet she was determined to serve as a volunteer helping other families navigate what she experienced and to have a positive influence on them. In addition to her volunteer work, Susan joined the Moores Cancer Center Board and is currently active on the Marketing Committee, working to enhance communication efforts, especially for newly diagnosed patients with cancer and their families.

Past Extraordinary Caregivers of the Year

Alicia Gwynn

The 2013 event honored Alicia Gwynn as Extraordinary Caregiver of the Year. Her unwavering commitment to the care of her husband and baseball Hall of Famer, Tony, and to countless others stands as a testament to her dedication to, and compassion for, people living with cancer.

To learn about our 2011 and 2012 extraordinary caregivers, see Caregiver Stories.  

Third-Party Events

Third-party events provide support for our programs and give us an opportunity to share our programs with the community. If you are interested in hosting or organizing an event to benefit Patient & Family Support Services, please contact Nikisha Belt, or 858-246-1230.