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Authors team up to help Cambridge breast cancer center

Posted by Brock Parker  March 24, 2010 09:00 AM

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Author Alice Hoffman

By Brock Parker, Globe Correspondent

Ten years of being symptom free often has special meaning for cancer survivors. But a decade after Cambridge author Alice Hoffman finished her final treatment for breast cancer, she has more to celebrate than just her own health.

Hoffman, 58, is about to celebrate her 10th Annual “An Evening with Your Favorite Authors” event at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge to benefit breast cancer patients at Mount Auburn Hospital.

The fundraiser Hoffman started a decade ago as a small event has grown each year until today it has helped raise more than $1 million for the hospital, which has named its Hoffman Breast Cancer Center after the author’s family.

“It’s just a way for me, personally, to try and give something back,” Hoffman said. “I was treated [at Mount Auburn Hospital] and the doctors and staff were incredible.”

Dr. Madeline Crivello, the director of women’s imaging at the breast cancer center, said Hoffman’s efforts provided seed money for Mount Auburn Hospital to build a dedicated waiting room for women undergoing breast cancer screenings and treatment and has provided cab rides for patients along with wigs for women who can’t afford them if they suffer hair loss during treatment.

Crivello said Hoffman has helped address the needs of women at a “very human level” at a time when they need help the most.

“It’s such a stressful time for so many women,” Crivello said.

Hoffman said she’s hoping her ongoing fundraising efforts will help the hospital expand the center, which now performs more than 22,000 mammograms a year.

Over the years, Hoffman has succeeded to attracting some of the biggest names in fiction to help with the cause, from late author Robert Parker to Amy Tan. Hoffman, a successful writer in her own right, has penned several New York Times bestsellers, including “The River King,” “Blue Diary and “The Ice Queen.”

This year’s “An Evening with your Favorite Authors” is April 26th at the American Repertory Theatre and will feature readings and anecdotes from Richard Russo, Elinor Lipman, Jill McCorkle, Chris Bohjalian, James Carroll, Drew Gilpin Faust, Anita Shreve and Hoffman.

The Beelzebubs, an a-cappella troupe from Tufts who competed in NBC’s show “Sing Off,” will also perform at the benefit.

Tickets are $250 and can be ordered at 617-499-5656 or by emailing

All proceeds go to the Hoffman Breast Cancer Center.

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