In 2005, Jeanne Whiting and Marlene Portnoy founded the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation to facilitate and fund desmoid tumor research and support patients with access to information. Jeanne’s personal journey with a retroperitoneal desmoid tumor involved resection, recurrence, two and a half years of two different chemotherapies, and eventual loss of her right kidney. This has made her keenly aware of the needs of the desmoid community and dedicated to accelerating the search for a cure.
Prior to co-founding the DTRF, Jeanne spent most of her career as an attorney. After attending University of Michigan Law School and J. Reuben Clark Law School, she received a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, in 1980. She then clerked for the Michigan Court of Appeals in Detroit, Michigan, and in succeeding years practiced with Sidley & Austin in Cairo, Egypt and in Washington, D.C.; with Shearman & Sterling in New York, New York; with Stern, Dubrow & Marcus in Maplewood, NJ; and, as a sole practitioner.
After retiring from the practice of law to raise her family, Jeanne became involved in various nonprofit organizations, including serving as Northeast Director for Choice Humanitarian and Executive Director of FamilyCares. She views her experience with a desmoid tumor as both a wake-up call and a calling to a new endeavor since it became clear to her as a patient that this was a field that needed jumpstarting into a new level of accelerated research to develop new treatments.
Jeanne resides in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband Steve. They have raised four sons and a daughter, and now enjoy their twelve beautiful grandchildren. They love the outdoors and enjoy skiing and crew rowing together.