More than 60 years later, a patient of Sidney Farber, MD, gives hope to others

Teri Scheinzeit is a childhood cancer survivor. In 1960, when she was just 6 years old, Teri was diagnosed with stage IV Wilms’ tumor, a rare kidney cancer that primarily affects children. Though she lived in upstate New York, her pediatrician urged Teri’s parents to take her to Boston, where she quickly underwent surgery to remove her kidney and spleen, and received chemotherapy and radiation led by Sidney Farber, MD, the founder of the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation—what is today Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Decades later, Teri is incredibly grateful for her health and to have been one of Dr. Farber’s patients. She is amazed to see how much Dana-Farber has progressed since she was treated for her cancer.

“I feel honored and lucky that I was one of Dr. Farber’s patients,” Teri says. “When doctors look at my medical chart now, they say, ‘Wow. Dr. Sidney Farber was your doctor?’ I count my blessings every day. I know my parents did, too.”

Now, Teri makes it her personal mission to help others who are impacted by cancer. As a writer and singer-songwriter, she composed her own show, Choosing Happy: A Musical Memoir, where she shares her personal medical journey through stories and songs.

“As someone who went through numerous medical ailments, I hope my musical memoir can be healing not only for cancer patients, but survivors, family members, and anyone struggling with life in general,” she says.

In addition to sharing her story, Teri also created a Giving Page—a personal fundraising web page—to encourage listeners to make a donation to help advance research at Dana-Farber. She hopes her stories and songs will inspire people everywhere, and plans to speak at medical conferences and events to spread awareness and hope.

“If it wasn’t for Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund, I wouldn’t have had a full, wonderful life,” she says.

Join Teri in support of Dana-Farber patients and their families by joining The Dana-Farber Campaign, our ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to prevent, treat, and defy cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign will accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, and exceptional expertise. As a community, we have the power to create a more hopeful, cancer-free future—in Boston and around the world. Together, we can defy cancer at every turn. Learn more about The Dana-Farber Campaign at