Greener Pastures Charitable Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public charity. It was founded by Jacqueline Nguyen (“Jacqui”) with a goal of raising awareness and funds for cancer research and treatment, as well as providing support to those affected by cancer.
The idea behind Greener Pastures originally began with Jacqui. In August 2009, Jacqui was diagnosed with classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma and began chemotherapy immediately thereafter. After six months of difficult treatment, the doctors informed us that her cancer had become resistant to standard chemotherapy, and she would therefore need to undergo a more aggressive regimen (“salvage chemotherapy”), followed by total body irradiation, conditioning chemotherapy, and finally a stem cell transplant. It was during these many months in the hospital when Jacqui first envisioned a way to give back to the organizations which had helped us along the way. Jacqui talked frequently and passionately about her charitable ideas to many people, including her treating doctors and nurses, all the while undergoing the fight of her life.
On July 21, 2010, Jacqui underwent an autologous stem cell transplant. This day is commonly referred to as a “re-birthday,” as it literally provides a fresh supply of blood cells after having undergone total body irradiation and extremely high-dose chemotherapy (which destroys the body’s existing bone marrow and immune system). After several months of recovery, Jacqui began daily “boost” radiation treatments in an effort to further shrink the mass and prevent recurrence. Throughout this period, we began taking steps towards making Jacqui’s charitable ideas a reality. It was always Jacqui’s dream to host the first charity event on July 21, 2011 — the anniversary of her re-birthday. We enlisted several long-time and special friends to help with the planning, development, and operation of the foundation, and formally reserved the name “Greener Pastures Charitable Foundation, Inc.” with the California Secretary of State in early February 2011.
On February 17, 2011, Jacqui was admitted into Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for complications surrounding her lymphoma. On March 9, 2011, after a courageous and fearless battle, Jacqui passed away.
We spent countless hours talking about how cancer changed our lives. Jacqui never once asked “why me?” or acted like a victim. To the contrary, Jacqui was a fighter and a lover of life. She taught me (and many, many others) about courage, perspective, grace, spirit, happiness, and love.
With these lessons in mind, Greener Pastures endeavors to help all those affected by cancer by increasing awareness, sponsoring local cancer programs, and providing financial support to three primary organizations: (1) UCLA Stem Cell Transplant Department; (2) LIVESTRONG; and (3) Stand Up To Cancer. While each organization has its own unique theme and purpose, all three support Greener Pastures’ overall goal: to raise awareness and funds for cancer research and treatment, and provide direct support to those affected by cancer.
Greener Pastures operates in honor and in loving memory of Jacqueline Nguyen, the most amazing person I’ve ever known.
-Eric A. Forstrom
Chairman & CEO, Greener Pastures Charitable Foundation, Inc.