Lynda Carter Altman—the actress, singer-songwriter, advocate and original Wonder Woman—teamed with Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), part of the cancer treatment and research center City of Hope, to improve survival outcomes for a deadly blood cancer.
Carter Altman’s husband of 37 years, Robert Altman, died in 2021 after his myelofibrosis, a bone marrow cancer that disrupts the body’s production of blood cells, progressed to secondary myeloid leukemia, a rare blood cancer with limited treatment options.
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“One day, Robert came home from his physical appointment and told me that he had a rare blood disease, myelofibrosis, and he needed checkups every few months,” Carter Altman said in a City of Hope article. “It didn’t make sense to me that you would just watch the disease progress until it became life-threatening.”
Carter Altman’s search for answers led her to TGen and City of Hope.
To honor her husband, Carter Altman made a philanthropic gift to TGen to support its research into better diagnosing and monitoring the disease as well as treatment options, including possible medications. She has since joined TGen’s foundation board of directors.
Her contribution will establish The Robert & Lynda Carter Altman Family Foundation Research Fund. In recent weeks, she has been raising awareness of myelofibrosis and promoting the foundation. She appeared on Today With Hoda & Jenna (watch the clip at the top of this article or on YouTube).
“When I lost Robert, I was left with so many questions. I wanted to understand why rare cancers are so difficult to treat, what research or treatment advances were being made to change that and, most importantly, how I could help lessen the challenges for other families facing a rare cancer diagnosis,” said Carter Altman. “In researching, I developed a great appreciation and respect for the work that TGen and City of Hope were doing.”
Through the newly established fund, TGen will develop cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment technologies as well as pinpoint prevention strategies for the progression from myelofibrosis into secondary myeloid leukemia.
Earlier this year, Carter Altman received the TGen 2022 John McCain Leadership Award. Watch the video below to learn more about her work with TGen:
Jeffrey Trent, PhD, the president and research director of TGen and a longtime friend of Carter Altman’s, expects to build on his colleagues’ research and produce “breakthroughs at an unprecedented pace.”
“Lynda has spent decades inspiring people, first with her iconic roles on screen and now as she joins us in the battle to end cancer,” he said in the City of Hope article. “We are grateful to have her involvement with this work and are confident that we can achieve her goals of helping other families avoid some of the challenges she personally experienced in her journey with her husband and his cancer battle.”