Jon Galinson, who survived two years with a rare blood cancer, died Feb. 23 surrounded by friends and family at UCSF Medical Center. He was 40.
Galinson was diagnosed in 2008 with chronic lymphocyctic leukemia.
Throughout his illness, he never stopped fighting, friends said. He endured numerous rounds of chemotherapy.
His family organized bone marrow drives and ran half-marathons to raise money for leukemia and lymphoma research.
“He was full of love and life and humor and wit,” said his wife, Yael. “He was genuine. He was a fun and loving father. An incredible friend. And a devoted husband.”
Galinson grew up in Los Angeles, then studied international health and development at Tulane University in New Orleans.
He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi. He worked for more than 10 years as an educational and information technology consultant.
He was an active member at Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley and also at Congregation Beth Israel in Berkeley. The Galinsons’ daughters, Luli, 2, and Gaby, 5, attended preschool at both synagogues.
“He was the kind of father that very few people are — even in the midst of incredibly difficult times, he was constantly present for his daughters,” said Netivot Shalom Rabbi Menachem Creditor, who was close friends with Galinson.
“If you didn’t know that he’d just finished a round of treatment, you wouldn’t be able to tell. His body and eyes would change to be there with daughters, and everyone noticed it. It is a testimony to the deep goodness we each try to achieve.”
Last year Galinson lived in Seattle for several months, receiving treatment and a cord blood transplant at the hospital there. Numerous Bay Area friends flew to Seattle to visit him and his wife.
Galinson had “a circle of friends who were ready to offer help wherever possible,” Creditor said.
The funeral was scheduled for Feb. 25 at Netivot Shalom in Berkeley. Rabbi David Wolpe — a well-known rabbi and author from Los Angeles, a cancer survivor and family friend — was scheduled to speak.
Jon Galinson is survived by his wife, Yael, daughters Gaby and Luli, and mother Wendy Galinson of Los Angeles.