I want to offer a tribute to a special survivor. He took the “challenge” so to speak as he tackled every day with vigor and a relentless desire to help others.

The last few weeks have been so tough for so many of us. We have lost a board member, watched numerous friends of the LAF deal with new diagnoses, and now I am so sad to report the passing of our former colleague and good friend, Allan Goldberg.

While I don’t know many details about his death I do know that Allan defined the word survivor. He battled this disease for more than 20 years. He spent his life giving back and helping others. He lived strong each and every day.

I will never forget when I went to visit Allan in Boston while he was finishing his graduate program at the Kennedy School at Harvard. We went to have lunch at the Cheesecake Factory on Huntington Street in downtown Boston. We sat there for hours and talked about how we could help more people with cancer. He was so passionate, dedicated, and focused. I so desperately wanted to find a role for him at LAF. He epitomized so much of what we stand for, believe in, and fight for every day.

Allan contributed so much to the cancer survivor community and he was such a stalwart supporter of the LIVESTRONG Summit, a project he managed while he was with us in Austin. He would be so amazed to know of our plans for this summer’s Summit. He will certainly be there in spirit.

Several years ago, when I was commuting to Austin and living in an apartment downtown, Mitch, Allan and I used to go to Whole Foods for dinner quite often. I just went to Whole Foods this afternoon and thought about our visits, conversations and our time together.

I will miss Allan and I know that so many of our team knew him well and spoke to him often. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to our entire LAF family who knew him well.

Suzanne, Mandy, and others are thinking about how we might honor Allan together here in Austin. More details to come.

Please keep Allan and his family in your thoughts and prayers this week.

Find below a note from Allan’s family.


Dear Friends –

As Allan says, “In the big game, you can lose with a full house and win with a pair of threes… you just never know.”

We are extremely saddened to share that our loved one, Allan Goldberg, passed away this morning. As many of you know, over the past few years Allan had been fighting cancer for the second time in his life. In recent months, it had spread but Allan continued to fight bravely while focusing on all of the positive things he was doing with his life. He spent the last week with his family on vacation at the beach in North Carolina. He returned home to D.C. on Friday and passed away this morning. His family was with him.

We know that Allan went on his own terms — focusing on living life, enjoying family & friends, and not allowing cancer to get in his way. We will miss him deeply. Allan was looking forward to moving back to Washington, D.C. to be closer to his family and friends. He spent the last two years in Colorado as a leader of First Descents, a non-profit organization focusing on survivorship of young adult cancer patients. Allan’s whole life has been dedicated to building upon his experiences with cancer to enrich the lives of everyone else who has been touched by the disease. He has inspired countless people through his optimism and courage. He was one of our heroes.

The memorial service will be held at Danzansky-Goldberg Memorial Chapel at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25th, located at 1170 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD, 20852. Information will be forthcoming in regards to how you may honor Allan’s life with a donation in lieu of flowers.

Please forward this message to anyone you feel would want this information.

And to close with another Allan saying, “Life is crazy; make sure you bring a jacket.”


Allan’s Family

Link to Allan’s obituary


  1. A Facebook group dedicated to Allan’s memory has been set up at

    Thank you for sharing your memories.

  2. Allan was my supervisor for a time at the LAF. He always made me laugh. We loved picking on each other and had a really fun and special boss-employee relationship. It was never “work” to work for him. It’s a really huge loss. I’m going to miss him.

  3. All of us in the First Descents family are deeply saddened by Allan’s passing. Allan has been a great friend and an inspirational leader for the past several years. He guided our organization with enthusiasm and optimism, just as he demonstrated while dealing with his own hurdles. Allan personified what we seek for our participant survivors- despite everything he was going through he continued to live passionately and fully. He leaves big shoes to fill.

  4. Pat Stanley (KSG05 Classmate) says:

    Thank you for the wonderful photo. Our class was fortunate to have been inspired by Allan’s story and to have become a part of his extended family – as was First Descents.

  5. Michelle Lemley says:

    Some lights burn so brightly, and with so much energy, they must naturally be extinguished sooner than their less effervescent counterparts.

    Even our Sun cannot shine forever. It gives and gives — warmth, love, life. Eventually, the fuel will be depleted. But we will never argue its energy should have been diminished, as it was spent for our benefit.

    Godspeed, Allan.

  6. Another Angel Has Left The Earth

    Allan was a part of my Yoga Family at Global Yoga in San Francisco. He was my student for over 10 years. He became my friend.We are all very sad and heartbroken at Global Yoga….I know Allan does not want me to cry.I will stop over time.

    These are the times that I really hope there is a heaven for Allan needs to be there.I hope there really is a God because Allan needs to be blessed by him.
    Allan founded Karma for Kids which raised funds for Camp Okizu in the bay area. It was a children’s camp for kids with cancer and their families….a place to go to where nobody was going to laugh at you if you had no hair on your head(chemo)….a place to go and feel a part of a community.Some children did not come back a second year…it might have been their last and best memory.
    My school was the top fund raiser for 4 years.You wanted to help Allan so badly…he was so passionate about it.
    Allan shared a love of cycling and all sports with me.Oh my God I was so excited for him when he called and told me he was going to be working for The Lance Armstrong Foundation!
    One day he called me and told me he had been at a cycling event and had been riding with George Hincapie,Lance Armstrong and Eddie Merckx.Oh WOW!! Living Legends! He knew I would be thrilled (a little jealous in a nice way..)and I was grateful that he would share his cycling adventures with me.He said that he was talking to Eddie about his yoga teacher in San Francisco while they were riding…He asked if “my ears were burning!”
    It is Allan’s joy of life and positive attitude about all things in life that I am grateful to have witnessed.
    I will have pictures on my web site by the weekend of Allan in yoga postures and a memorial tribute for him.
    Do not worry,Allan,I will only pick GOOD posture pictures of you!
    My deepest condolences to his family and all friends.

    “I love you,Allan.Thank You for being a precious part of my life,my friend. Thank you for all the things you did for my yoga school.I am again reminded of the fullness of life because of you.God Bless You Always.”

  7. Kari "Zero" says:

    As a former camper and as a Staffer at Camp Okizu, the camp for cancer kids mentioned in Mary Jarvis’ comment, I cannot keep from thinking about something he said to me when a good friend of ours was remembered at camp: “Maybe the camp just needed one more angel to watch over it.” At camp, everyone has nicknames, some people you never even know their real name. Allen’s camp name, for the obvious reason of his strength was Popeye. Maybe camp was in need of an extra strong angel

  8. matty staudt says:

    Allan was an inspiratation to me and many. He took me to Camp Okizu to volunteer and it changed my life. I have been training for a Tri with Team in Training and dedicated my season to his memory. You can follow my progress on my facebook group.

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