Meet the Woman Who Started a Global Movement to End Cancer at the Age of 19

Julie Greenbaum started FCancer after her mother passed away—and she's not slowing down anytime soon.

FCancer Organization Julie Greenbaum Interview
(Image credit: Courtesy of Julie Greenbaum)

When Julie Greenbaum was 19, her mother passed away from ovarian cancer. Inspired by her legacy, she co-founded FCancer, an organization that helps to support those affected by cancer through digital initiatives, programs, and research. (Or as Greenbaum says, "I wanted to have something positive to focus my energy on and create and outlet for people my age to help raise money in a fun and unique way.") Recently, she merged with Yael Cohen Braun's organization of the same name for an even bigger impact—and since 2009, FCancer has raised more than $1.25 million to go towards research and digital tools. We caught up with the 24-year-old entrepreneur to talk about her organization and how you can join in the community.

What's the ultimate goal for FCancer?

"Fuck Cancer focuses on prevention, early detection and supporting those affected by cancer. We are changing and impacting the cancer space by improving health outcomes through digital initiatives, programs, events and cutting edge research."

What have you experienced personally that makes you push forward?

"The fact that my mothers life was cut short is something that pushes me to always move forward and live the best life I possibly can. In a way, I feel like I can take her along with me through every experience, and in that sense her beautiful energy and spirit will live on."

What has been the most memorable moment in starting the organization?

"There have been so many incredible moments since the start of this organization. One that stands out specifically is when an anonymous business man triple matched our donation to memorial Sloan Kettering after our NYC event. It was an incredible feeling to know that people believed in what we were doing and went above and beyond to support our efforts."

The biggest misconception about cancer is that nothing positive can come from this disease.

Julie Greenbaum

What's the biggest misconception about cancer that you've learned throughout your work?

"The biggest misconception about cancer is that nothing positive can come from this disease. One of the most beautiful experiences our family shared was feeling the love and bond that came to life when my mother was battling her Ovarian Cancer. In a way, it brought our family together and opened up relationships and a closeness that was not felt before her diagnosis. We hope to give the cancer community a place where they can feel supported through our in person events and programs and digital initiatives."

What's your biggest hope for the organization?

"We want to keep creating the biggest impact we can in the Cancer space by focuses on prevention, early detection and psychosocial support. We want to do this by providing amazing programs like our upcoming Ace Hotel with First Descents and engaging our community to give them a safe and unique place to connect with others about their cancer experience. We are also planning on some larger initiatives that will launch later this year, including one that focused on the HPV vaccine."

What's the one thing you're most excited for?

"One program that we are really excited about is under our psychosocial pillar, First Descents (FD) and Fuck Cancer (FC) are partnering up to bring a first of it's kind experience in Palm Springs, CA—honoring our sailor-mouthed spirit mother Linda Gerard and generously supported by the kind folks at Ace Hotel Palm Springs. This weekend will give young adults with Cancer the opportunity to connect with others and grow a network of support that will continue to provide the psychosocial care needed to thrive and move forward with a positive attitude."

Learn more about the party (and join!) here.

Samantha Leal
Senior Editor

Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.