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An Inspired Life Sparks Generosity, Innovation and Hope

Donors and founders of Susan Krupnick Discovery and Innovation Fund, David Krupnick and Jason Harrow

David Krupnick is the kind of friend we all aspire to be and have – an enthusiastic fan and advocate for those he loves.

As a young student at Penn Charter, David became friends with Jason Harrow and Andy Goldberger. His house became the friends’ downtown hub in part because David’s house miraculously had an elementary school parking lot behind it where his friends could leave their cars for an entire weekend. 

But, truth be told, it was primarily David’s parents, Susie and Steve Krupnick, who made the home so inviting. Everyone recalls gravitating towards the house that radiated such acceptance, warmth, and love. The group dubbed the Krupnicks’ attic “The Treehouse,” because it became the central location for hangouts. Susie and Steve were the parents who hosted the best sleepovers and made fresh-squeezed orange juice in the morning, and who you enjoyed talking with even when their kid wasn’t around.

David’s mother Susie was a loving force – a devoted wife, teacher, entrepreneur, mother, and grandmother who radiated an undefinable quality that drew people in. She was a pied piper and a ball of positive energy, a creative spirit, and a giver to friends and strangers alike. 

Breast cancer patient Susie Krupnick riding her bike at the beach“She wanted the best for everyone,” David said of his mom. “She had no jealousy, only delight in other people’s successes. She and my dad were the perfect team.”

Together, Susie and Steve built several businesses and were real estate visionaries, reviving Center City rental properties at a time when many Philadelphians were leaving the city. They converted their family’s 19th-century factory building into a mixed-use creative space that now houses 50 artists and craftspeople.

A Diagnosis – And Determination to Enjoy Life

In 2008, Susie was diagnosed with breast cancer. She sought treatment at Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center, where oncologist John Glick, MD, provided her with excellent care that focused on her quality of life. In 2014, just before David was set to get married, Susie’s cancer returned. Amidst Susie’s cancer treatments, Steve was also diagnosed with prostate cancer and treated at the Abramson Cancer Center.

Susie never let cancer stop her from living life to the fullest – she threw herself into her grandchildren’s lives, trips down the shore, and a never-ending series of projects and renovations. On June 28, 2018, Susie passed away while surrounded by her loving family. 

Paying It Forward

Cancer patients and donors, Susie and Steve Krupnick, dancing

During the Krupnicks’ cancer journeys, David’s lifelong friend Jason Harrow was inspired to honor Steve and Susie’s incredible lives and recognize the couple who instilled the traits and values that make David so beloved.

Jason, whose family has deep philanthropic ties to the Abramson Cancer Center, had found success after investing in a small software company, FareHarbor, at David’s urging. The company was founded by one of David’s college friends, and David saw the tremendous potential and had rallied his friends to invest start-up capital in it when the company had only one client.

Years later, FareHarbor was purchased by a large company, and Jason and the rest of David’s friends who were seed funders made a substantial profit from their small, initial investments. Led by Jason, these friends decided to donate a portion of their profits to establish the Susan Krupnick Discovery and Innovation Fund at the Abramson Cancer Center. 

“We all took a risk in our investment, and it paid off. We were given a tremendous opportunity to pay it forward and honor the woman who instilled in David the traits and values that make him such a singular and special friend,” said Jason.

Monies from Susan Krupnick Discovery and Innovation Fund will be used as fast as possible, allowing the Abramson Cancer Center to capitalize on research discoveries and fuel game-changing cancer care. The funds will directly benefit the brilliant scientists, doctors and nurses, as well as the brave patients who are all on the front lines in the fight against cancer. 

“This gift is a testament to the incredible impact my mom had on everyone in her life,” said David, “and how her force and strength will never be forgotten.”

To make a gift to the Discovery and Innovation Fund, please fill out our online form or contact Emily Fiorilli at emilyfio@upenn.edu or 215-898-3084.

About this Blog

The Penn Medicine Giving blog highlights and promotes philanthropic contributions to Penn Medicine and the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

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