The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will present a lifetime achievement award to Neil Kishter, a wealth management adviser whose late wife’s battle with leukemia led him to personally donate millions of dollars to local hospitals and medical centers.
Kishter will be presented with the James L. Eichberg Lifetime Achievement Award for 2018 at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 31st annual Leukemia Ball, held March 10 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Kishter, whose first wife of 20 years, Dana, passed away in 2008 after a decade-plus-long battle with acute myeloid leukemia, said he was “humbled and touched” by the award.
“This recognition carries more significance than I, or any individual, truly merit,” Kishter said. “It represents the best in all of us, as we work together to eradicate the scourge of blood cancers. My greatest wish would be that I am the final recipient, as the award becomes an obsolete reminder of a time before a stunning medical advance.”
Kishter’s donations to support the research and the development of life-saving therapies, and his commitment to helping families fighting blood cancers, exemplifies the dedication the James L. Eichberg Lifetime Achievement Award is meant to honor, said Beth Gorman, executive director of LLS’s National Capital Area Chapter.
“Neil’s impact on the lives of blood cancer patients touches many aspects of their care, from the physical environment in which they receive treatment to the innovative research funded by LLS, which is bringing new therapies to patients who urgently need them,” Gorman said. “This past year alone, an unprecedented 18 new cancer therapies were approved by the FDA, and LLS played a role in virtually all of them. These types of extraordinary results are only made possible by the support of passionate individuals such as Neil Kishter.”
Kisther is the founder and leader of the Kishter Group, within the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch. He works with business owners, entrepreneurs, senior executives and multigenerational families to develop tailored wealth management strategies. He and his current wife, Emily, are committed to supporting those in need throughout metropolitan D.C.
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital has named its bone marrow and stem cell transplant clinic for Emily and Neil Kishter, and the couple has supported the hospital’s state-of-the-art medical/surgical pavilion and its Infusion Center. Kishter serves as a member of the Suburban Hospital Foundation’s board of trustees, and he and his wife have also purchased two mobile digital radiology units for the hospital.
Kishter has also donated new TVs and DVD players to the bone marrow transplant unit, where his first wife received a transplant, and he and Emily later funded the construction of an expanded family area and the purchase of other equipment.
The lifetime achievement award was established in memory of Jim Eichberg, a long-time volunteer and supporter of LLS who made service to others an integral part of his daily life. The award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of an individual who has demonstrated dedication and commitment to the mission of LLS, thereby making a significant impact on the lives of patients and families.
This year’s Leukemia Ball will feature a comedic performance by Jeff Foxworthy and musical entertainment by Phil Vassar.