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Danny Korengold of Chevy Chase, Md., lost his mother, Betty Lou Ourisman, to breast cancer in 1992. She was just 66 years old when her passing devastated her family. So to honor her, Danny’s stepfather, Mandell Ourisman, made a significant donation to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, where she was cared for in the final weeks of her life.
The Betty Lou Ourisman Breast Health Center was established in 1998 as one of the first comprehensive multi- disciplinary breast cancer centers in the country. When Eleni Tousimis, MD, director of the Betty Lou Ourisman Breast Health Center, took over leadership at the Center in 2014, she reached out to the Korengold/ Ourisman family to introduce herself and give them a tour of the Breast Health Center and its new programs and technologies.
By chance, just four days after their visit, Danny’s wife of 31 years, Martha Dippell, was diagnosed with breast cancer. “It was shocking,” Danny recalls. “Really out of the blue.”
Martha was diagnosed with early- stage invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), the most common form of breast cancer, and chose to receive treatment at MedStar Georgetown. “The care I received was wonderful,” Martha says.
Three years later, she is cancer-free and passionate about encouraging all women to get 3D mammograms, the technology that allowed her cancer to be detected. She was thrilled that the Center already offered 3D mammography, but when Martha learned Dr. Tousimis wanted to renovate the Breast Health Center to update the environment for patients, she turned to Danny and their family for help. Twenty family members, including Lisa, John and Bobby Ourisman; Tommy Korengold; and 13 of Betty Lou’s grandchildren, decided they wanted to help and enthusiastically made donations that will make the renovations possible.
“Martha tackled her own diagnosis head-on and conquered it,” says Danny. “Now, she is going to help other people. My mother would be very happy that the women in our family and so many other women in this area will have a place they can go if they ever need it.”
“This family’s generous gift will make such a difference to our patients’ lives, and it is a testament to the fact that women’s health affects all of us,” Dr. Tousimis says. “Women are the heart of so many families, so even though breast cancer is primarily diagnosed in women, it impacts every member of the family.”
Renovations are expected to begin within the year to create a state-of- the-art facility that matches the premier care provided by the Breast Health Center team. This will include a complete renovation of the waiting areas and exam rooms to create spaces that will provide a more comfortable and nourishing environment.
“We are very happy to support Dr. Tousimis and her goal to continue making this the finest breast cancer treatment center in the metropolitan area,” Martha says.