Supporting Patient & Family Support Services


Our supporters are vital partners in the quest to improve the lives of those dealing with cancer or other complex illnesses. Donations help us to provide care that would not otherwise be available, support pilot programs and innovations in care, enhance training and education, and fund research centered on providing excellent care for patients and their families. We strive to make the most of every gift, with 94% of any donation going directly to support our care, educational, or research programs.

Giving to Support Our Programs

The support of grateful patients and friends — like you — is vital to all we do. Your generosity can make a major impact on our patients’ lives through our Patient and Family Support Services. All of the methods below will help you direct your gifts to the Patient Empowerment Fund (F-2321), which supports Patient & Family Support Services in the development and implementation of state-of-the-art, comprehensive psychosocial services at Moores Cancer Center.

  • To donate online, please visit UC San Diego Online Giving. By using this link, your gift will be directed to the Patient Empowerment Fund, which benefits Patient & Family Support Services.
  • To donate by phone, please call the Moores Cancer Center Development Office, (858) 534-8439 and direct your gift to the Patient Empowerment Fund, F-2321.
  • To donate by mail, please use the Make a Gift form. Under “Please tell us where to direct this gift,” click the button next to “For the following area of cancer research and care” and enter in the box: Patient Empowerment Fund, F-2321.
  • To discuss planned giving, please contact Sandy Liarakos, Executive Director of Development, or (858) 246-1569. Through planned giving, donors can include a gift to a charitable institution in their estate plan and take advantage of tax benefits. Gifts to UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center can be made to a specific program or service, such as counseling, writing workshop, acupuncture, music therapy or support groups. If you are leaning toward a particular use for your gift but are unsure about the specifics, we can help you identify potential funding opportunities.

For questions or more information please contact Sandy Liarakos, Executive Director of Development,  or 858-246-1569, or Dr. Scott Irwin, Director of Patient & Family Support Services, or 858-822-5381.

Celebrate Hope Reception: Extraordinary Caregiver of the Year

Mimi Bernique

The 5th Annual Extraordinary Caregiver of the Year Award will honor Michele “Mimi” Bernique. Each year Moores Cancer Center recognizes the importance of caregivers and advocates in providing patient-centered care. The Extraordinary Caregiver of the Year Award acknowledges an individual or group whose leadership, commitment and support for cancer patients and their families has made a significant impact on the lives of others.

Mimi’s husband, Michael, came to Moores Cancer Center after being at one of the top cancer centers in the nation. Working closely with his physicians and staff, Mimi consistently communicated their questions and concerns prior to clinic visits. This led to a deeper understanding of her husband’s disease as well as the treatment plans that they needed to follow. Michael’s cancer treatments and healing therapies required accuracy and follow-up that Mimi embraced as her role and mission in her husband’s journey.

“We are inspired by Mimi’s role as an extraordinary caregiver, helping our care teams learn more about the caregiver’s perspective and their important support network. By honoring Mimi, we recognize the efforts of caregivers everywhere in providing hope and support to those touched by cancer,” said Scott M. Lippman, MD, director of Moores Cancer Center.

Past Extraordinary Caregivers of the Year

The 2014 Extraordinary Caregiver of the Year honored Susan Goldfarb Pidgeon for her strong leadership and for making an incredible difference for people receiving cancer treatment and their families. Her unwavering commitment to the care for her husband during his treatment allowed her to understand firsthand the importance of Patient and Family Support Services. To continue this legacy, she serves as an influential ambassador for patient care and a Moores Cancer Center Board Member.

Past Honorees

2013: Alicia Gwynn
2012: Laurie Black
2011: Wanda and Cam Garner

To learn about our 2011 and 2012 extraordinary caregivers, see Caregiver Stories.  

Third-Party Events

Third-party events provide support for our programs and give us an opportunity to share our programs with the community. If you are interested in hosting or organizing an event to benefit Patient & Family Support Services, please contact Nikisha Belt, or 858-246-1230.