Maria and Larry Baum will be recognized with the Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award for their extraordinary philanthropy and support of BCRF’s mission. They will receive the honor at the Foundation’s first-ever Virtual Symposium and Awards Luncheon on October 16.
Nine years ago, Maria Baum was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 42 and with no family history of the disease. She felt her whole world change overnight. As she underwent chemotherapy, her friend Richard Perry recommended stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) as a way to find solace and relief. Her passion for the sport and the respite she found on the water inspired her to give back.
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“As a breast cancer survivor, the sport gave me—and continues to give me—a much-needed outlet,” Maria said. “Sharing it with others while raising funds for lifesaving research is my personal way of paying it forward.”
In 2012, Maria and her husband, Larry, along with their close friends Lisa and Richard Perry, organized a small paddleboard race and party for 85 competitors in Sag Harbor launching the inaugural Hamptons Paddle & Party for Pink, a now-annual fundraiser for BCRF for 200 paddlers and hundreds of party guests. This initiative has raised an astounding $11 million to date and attracted numerous supporters, including big wave surfer Laird Hamilton, who helped popularize SUP in the early 2000s.
Over the last eight years, Maria and Larry’s personal connection to BCRF—and their desire to fund more lifesaving research into the disease—has only strengthened. As a member of BCRF’s Board of Directors since 2014, Maria has brought hugely valuable expertise and insight, helping the foundation accelerate progress against breast cancer.
Recently, and at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York, Maria found out she had a reoccurrence of the disease. Undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer during this time has been an entirely different experience—one that underscores the urgent need to continue funding breast cancer research now.
“Soon, I will be able to close the book on this year of treatment and move on again with a clean bill of health because of the incredible work of cancer researchers and doctors,” Maria said. “I am especially grateful to the brilliant scientists that we fund through grants for literally saving my life and the lives of so many other men and women we all know and love.”
To learn more about this year’s Virtual Symposium & Luncheon, click here.
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Breast Cancer Research Foundation28 West 44th Street, Suite 609, New York, NY 10036
General Office: 646-497-2600 | Toll Free: email@example.com | BCRF is a 501 (c)(3) | EIN: 13-3727250