About Us

The J.E.S Foundation

The John E. Sabga Foundation is a non-profit foundation started in Trinidad and Tobago and plans to expand globally. Our primary focus is accelerating the race for an early detection test for pancreatic cancer and ultimately aid in finding a cure.

The foundation honors John Edmond Sabga who died at the age of 56 in January 2017 after a valiant 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer. We - his family, friends and colleagues - honor his memory and bravery by forging forward on a relentless journey to help in the global fight. By raising funds, we will help develop specific research studies and clinical trials that will assist in finding the answers to eradicate this devastating disease.

The J.E.S Foundation will also focus on pancreatic cancer education and support in Trinidad and Tobago in an effort to wage hope for those suffering from this disease.

The annual mortality rate per 100,000 people from pancreatic cancer in Trinidad and Tobago has increased 545% since 1990.

The annual years of healthy life lost is 141.6 years per 100,000 people in Trinidad.

This is not only a challenge for the people of Trinidad and Tobago, but a challenge for the world. Help us make the difference - this is Our World we have to make it Our Fight.

John's Story

John Edmond Sabga

How do you describe a man who meant so much to so many people? My husband, John, was the embodiment of all things honorable and just.

Go To Guy

Born in Trinidad to parents, Edmond and Diane Sabga, John was a loyal son and family man. He dedicated himself and his wealth of knowledge and resources to his large and extended family and staff, to ensure that they were always well taken care of. I always joked that he was everybody’s favorite person because he could solve any problem, answer any question, fix anything and was always fast on his feet and ready to assist. In fact, he was known as a “Jack of all trades and MASTER of ALL”. He earned a degree in building construction, from the University of Florida, which enabled him to garner this accolade by everyone who knew him. This is what endeared him to many, as he was not afraid to get down and dirty, even to assist the plumber in a crisis.

Biggest Fan and Hardest Worker

John was an avid sportsman with a particular interest in football and cricket. This passion was developed in his teens at his alma mater, Fatima College, and continued into his adult life where he maintained his devotion to sport, especially cricket. In fact, he would think nothing of jumping on a plane and flying to Australia to support his beloved West Indies team.

John was a very hard-working man and spent all of his working life in the restaurant business. From Los Angeles to Trinidad, he impacted people with his exceptional work ethic, genial personality and tireless commitment to his business and his employees. He was fair and just and expected nothing but the best from his family and employees, but then again, he gave always of his best.

Wise, Kind, Father

He was known for his plaid shirts and everything Vineyard Vines, his contagious smile and happy-go-lucky nature. Despite this attribute of his, he was not one to shy away from teaching what was right from wrong, especially to his two children, Matthew and Amanda, whom he has blessed with the legacy of his character. Much of his wisdom was taught to them on his numerous late night binges of Häagen Dazs ice cream and English Cadbury, Minstrels and Crunchie chocolates. That was their favorite bonding time.

Pancreatic Cancer

In April 2016, John was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He fought in true John style, crisscrossing the United States for 10 months to see the best doctors. Unfortunately for John, and countless others, his disease has no signs or symptoms until it has reached stage IV, at which point it is too late. Sadly, he lost his battle with this disease in January 2017.

It is with great love, that we, his family and friends, choose to honor him by working relentlessly to raise awareness of this disease and ultimately assist in the race to find a cure for pancreatic cancer. Most importantly, we are committed in our mission to see the realization of an early detection test and new treatments options, by funding clinical trials so that other families, will not be impacted by this the deadliest of all cancers.

Please join us on this quest! Together we can make a difference!

The TGen Foundation

Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results.

TGen is focused on helping patients with neurological disorders, cancer, and diabetes, through cutting edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research towards patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and rare complex diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities literally worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process.

TGen is allied with City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and cancer and diabetes treatment center. This precision medicine alliance enables both institutes to complement each other in research and patient care, with City of Hope providing a significant clinical setting to advance scientific discoveries made by TGen.

Dr. Von Hoff

Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., F.A.C.P., is Physician-in-Chief, Distinguished Professor and Executive Vice President at TGen (Translational Genomics Research Institute) in Phoenix, Arizona. He is also Chief Scientific Officer for US Oncology and for HonorHealth's Clinical Research Institute. He is also a Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Arizona.

Dr. Von Hoff’s major interest is in the development of new anticancer agents, both in the clinic and in the laboratory. He and his colleagues were involved in the beginning of the development of many FDA approved agents we now use routinely, including: mitoxantrone, fludarabine, paclitaxel, docetaxel, gemcitabine, irinotecan, nelarabine, capecitabine, lapatinib, vismodegib, nab-paclitaxel, nal-IRI, and others. His clinical trial work has led to the approval of 3 of the 4 drugs approved by the FDA for treatment of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. At present, he and his colleagues are concentrating on the development of molecularly targeted therapies particularly for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Von Hoff has published more than 675 papers, 140 book chapters and over 1170 abstracts. Dr. Von Hoff received the 2010 David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology for his outstanding contributions to cancer research leading to significant improvement in patient care.

Dr. Von Hoff was appointed to President Bush’s National Cancer Advisory Board in 2004-2010. Dr. Von Hoff is the past President of the American Association for Cancer Research (the world’s largest cancer research organization), a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a member and past board member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He is a founder of ILEX™ Oncology, Inc. (acquired by Genzyme after Ilex had 2 agents, alemtuzumab and clofarabine approved by the FDA for patients with leukemia).

Dr. Von Hoff is founder and the Editor Emeritus of Investigational New Drugs – The Journal of New Anticancer Agents; and, past Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. He is a co-founder of the AACR/ASCO Methods in Clinical Trial Cancer Research Workshop, which has graduated more than 2000 clinical trial physicians. He is also proud to have been a mentor and teacher for multiple medical students, medical oncology fellows, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.