In 1994, the members of the DiMatteo family joined together to make a $2.5 million pledge to support the infrastructure needs of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. Their generous commitment—comprised both of funds to be endowed in perpetuity and to be spent on more immediate needs—helped make possible the build out of research space critical to the mission of the Lurie Cancer Center. More than 15 years later, multiple generations of support for the Dominick DiMatteo Cancer Research Fund continues to advance investigations conducted in the Dominick DiMatteo Cancer Research Laboratories in the Olson Pavilion.
The Dominick DiMatteo Cancer Research Laboratories were named in memory of Dominick DiMatteo Jr., founder of Dominick's Finer Foods and a pioneer in food retailing. A devoted family man who "lived the American Dream," Mr. DiMatteo also was a patient of Dr. Steve Rosen's. Mr. DiMatteo died of lung cancer in 1993. In 1997, his wife Ethel passed away. They were survived by their five children Mary Ellen DiMatteo, Donna Marzano, James DiMatteo, Margaret Bedford, Kathy Crane, and numerous grandchildren.
"I knew Dominick as a man entirely committed to his family and community. In his children and their children, his generosity lives on, as does his name in the Dominick DiMatteo Cancer Research Laboratories," said Dr. Rosen. "I am honored that our doctors have been able to advance such lasting progress in his name."
Over the years, the Dominick DiMatteo Cancer Research Laboratories have housed diverse research studies. When the DiMatteo family visited the space in June 2010, they met and toured some of the 12 faculty members' laboratories and six core facilities currently supported by the fund. In attendance for the tour, led by Dr. Rosen, were all of Mr. DiMatteo's children, as well as many of their immediate family members: Mary Ellen DiMatteo, and her daughters Catherine and Julia Bond; Donna Marzano and her son Jay Owen; James DiMatteo, his wife Sarah, daughter Annie Laughton, son-in-law Matt Laughton, and daughter Maggie DiMatteo; Margaret Bedford, her husband Howard, daughter Mia, and sons Andrew Bedford and Steven Swanson; and Katherine Crane, her husband Guy, daughter Frances, and son Wesley.