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Student pays tribute to father with cancer benefit

Eman Fendi with her father, Abdelmoneim Mabrouk.
August 09, 2011

Arizona State University student Eman B. Fendi doesn’t want to see anyone else lose their father to cancer.

Abdelmoneim Mabrouk died last January after a two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“My dad was my best friend,” Fendi said. “I don’t want any other girl to lose her dad to cancer.”

That’s why she’s organizing Dance for the Cure, a benefit ball on Sept. 10 for the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center that will open in September. Her father received care from Banner during his struggle with cancer.

“They took really good care of him. Even though cancer took his life, they were the reason he lived an extra six months,”  Fendi said. “For those who are still battling cancer in Arizona, this facility is a beacon of hope.”

Dance for the Cure will feature dinner, dancing, speakers from Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center and a silent auction with items from outlets such as retailers from Biltmore Fashion Park and upscale restaurants in Scottsdale.

“The response has been really positive. There’s not one person who hasn’t been touched by cancer, unfortunately. Everybody wants to play a part in helping to find a cure,” Fendi said.

The goal of the event is to raise awareness about what cancer is and to dispel myths and stereotypes about the disease.

“There are cancers that are curable if detected early. What we’re aiming for is better treatment with fewer side effects,” Fendi said. “We’ll address where we are with cancer, treatments available and what the cancer center can provide for Arizona.”

Fendi’s career goal is to become a cancer researcher and find a cure for the type of cancer that took her father. She is going into her junior year at ASU in biochemistry with an emphasis on medicinal chemistry and she plans to attend medical school.

 “I want to be a hematologist,” she said.

Researching cancer will provide Fendi a way to pay tribute to her father, who helped raise nine children after emigrating to the United States from Egypt while he was in his 20s and building a career here as an entrepreneur.

But family was always his top priority. A few days before he passed, he told his daughter he wasn’t going to make it, that he would miss her and to take care of the family.

“He always put himself last,” Fendi said.  “His family was first come, first served. He was a good guy.

Fendi and fellow student Jenna Burns are organizing the benefit through Fashionistas at ASU, a student organization that focuses on fashion through events such as an annual Memorial Union fashion show modeling the latest styles available at the ASU Bookstore and a fashion show at Scottsdale Fashion Square. Fendi and Burns are president and vice president respectively of Fashionistas.

Banner Health Foundation is working with Fendi and Burns on the event that will be held at the JW Marriott Camelback Inn in Scottsdale.

“Eman is an extraordinary individual.  I admire her commitment and devotion to fostering cancer awareness.  I know that she has been personally impacted by cancer – she understands fully the dire need for excellent cancer care and treatment in Arizona,” said Christy Atler, Banner Health Foundation development officer. “I am always humbled by compassionate and caring individuals like Eman who want to make a difference.”

RSVP for Dance for the Cure at  Information about the event may be found on Facebook at!/event.php?eid=220933801278815 or by calling (602) 386-9630.