dare to live

Click here to watch a video to learn more about the Janet Sue Mason Foundation

Bringing the Arts to Healing. Working with oncology centers in the communities to provide the "little things" that help the healing process.

It's the little things that make a huge difference in the daily lives of people undergoing cancer treatment.

At the Janet Sue Mason Foundation, we are here to help.
While the large national organizations seek a cure for cancer we help those affected by cancer in their personal fight.

Through your generous donations we are able to bring necessities to Treatment Facilities. With clinic budgets slashed the foundation has come to the aid of the patient, providing those little things which help them heal.


Each community's needs are different. We customize our support through our Adopt a Cancer Clinic program. We provide:

  • pillows & blankets for treatment centers
  • snacks & drinks for treatment time
  • personal DVD players and movies to watch
  • taxi voucher system for transportation
  • holiday decorations in the treatment facilities
  • audio books
  • magazine subscriptions
  • support of local preforming arts initiatives who, in turn, volunteer their time and talents for foundation related events
  • support of local early detection clinics & mobile mammography labs
  • early detection brochures and information

If you see a special need in your community please contact us and we will find a way to help.

* while our focus will always be on breast cancer patients and families of those in treatment, we will never exclude patients of the other forms of cancer from enjoying our efforts.


It has been a surprise how the two missions of the Foundation have dove-tailed together.

In order to have the talent to create or perform art, you have to have a sensitivity, creativity and strength to leave the mainstream and follow your heart. While the cancer programs of the Foundation seek to preserve life, the programs for the Arts seek to enrich life.

It all started when the decision was made to have a string quartet from the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts, perform at Sue’s Celebration of Life. An immediate affinity formed with the Foundation wanting to help their students, and the Academy wanting to help our programs. As a result, we now are working together to expand the opportunities for Academy Students, and the Academy provides fund raising opportunities for the Foundation. The Foundation has commissioned a Symphony by noted composer Jeremy Woolstenhulme.

This work, entitled "Symphony for Sue," is scheduled for its premier performance in Summer 2011. The initial performance will provide a major fund raising event for the Foundation. With the funds raised from this and other events, the Foundation will be expanding its assistance to cancer clinics as well as music camp scholarships to deserving performers, underwriting Drama and Dance performances, and working with High School Art, Theatre, Music and Choral departments in small communities across the country. Follow our web site as these exciting events become scheduled. Let your School Board know about us, we can provide much needed help for these often neglected areas in your school’s curriculum.


The Janet Sue Mason Foundation was created to continue the mission of Sue Mason whom cancer took in September of 2009. Her mission was to support and maintain the hope and courage of fellow cancer patients who often felt so helpless. It was the strength that carried her and the gift she gave to us all. Her gentle smile, her loving touch, her encouraging words were all windows into her wonderful soul. We can repay her by picking up her mission and carrying on.

Sue, born July 12, 1947 was raised in the small rural community of Arkansas City, Kansas. She graduated from Arkansas City High School in 1965. Sue, being a creative spirit, set her sights on a career in the arts. She followed her dreams to New York where she studied ballet, jazz and interpretive dance. She was accepted as a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Company and performed with the company for 4 years. While pursuing her dance career Sue completed her degree in Philosophy from Hunter College of the City University of New York.

Recognizing the physical demands of a professional dance career would limit her future, Sue sought alternatives which would allow her to remain involved in the arts she loved so much. In the fall of 1978 she entered Washburn University School of Law with the intention of returning to New York to represent artists in their business and legal matters. Graduating with a Juris Doctorate Degree in 1981 she was admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Kansas and to the Federal District Courts. Her plans of returning to New York were not to be, as in 1981, she met Michael Beckner and a life-long romance began. They married at Tortola, British Virgin Islands in 1984, and remained a loving and devoted couple until her last breath.

Cancer entered Sue's life in January 2001. With her typical determination she began her battle with the disease and succeeded in fighting it into submission on no less than five occasions. With her “magician physician,” Dr. Heather Allen and the exceptionally skilled professional staff of the Comprehensive Cancer Clinics of Nevada, Sue maintained an active life giving hope, strength and courage to all who knew her. She frequently amazed even her physician with her commitment to beating the odds and winning against breast cancer.

Sue is survived by her husband, Michael and her sister Jill Roberts of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In addition to her immediate family, dozens of, brother and sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins miss her deeply. Sue’s circle of friends and colleagues represents a truly impressive number, giving testament to the ready smile, open heart and helping hand which were her trademarks.

Knowing her time might be limited, Sue sought to find her mission. Cancer was an unwelcomed visitor, but like other adversities she had faced, she faced this deadly intruder. She strongly believed things happened for a reason. To those of us who knew and loved her we could see no reason why this wonderful woman should be stricken by such a dreaded and deadly disease. But Sue never wasted a heartbeat on the question "why me?"

Still, she questioned her purpose for being. Should she go to Africa and help treat the sick? Should she become an activist for causes she felt just? Should she join political efforts to overcome world hunger or to advance human rights? The answer to her quest for meaning eluded her until one afternoon in 2005.

A work colleague came to her and told her that her doctors had discovered a suspicious lump during her annual checkup. She was understandably concerned and would follow up with appropriate treatment. She then told Sue that over the last five years she had watched the courage, strength and hope Sue had displayed and it made her less afraid.

Sue then understood her mission. To ease fear in another’s life is to give them an enormous gift…..the gift of hope. For the rest of her days Sue sought to comfort those who feared Breast Cancer, to encourage them to take the appropriate steps to discover and to treat the disease. And, perhaps most importantly, for those who were on the journey with Breast Cancer, to seize every opportunity to enjoy the life and love of others, to know that they may have Breast Cancer, but that Breast Cancer never had them.



"It's the little things that make a difference."

Every dollar helps support the efforts of the Janet Sue Mason Foundation. Help improve the lives of those fighting cancer in your community.

If you wish to make a donation by sending a check, please make it payable to:

Janet Sue Mason Foundation, Inc.,
C/O Nevada State Bank
ATTN: Ms. Amy Salz, Account Executive
7030 South Durango
Las Vegas, NV 89113

* transactions conducted on our Web site are encrypted using a secure server to protect your privacy.

Janet Sue Mason Foundation is a recognized 501(c)3 public charity and our tax ID is 27-1515100. Donations made to Janet Sue Mason Foundation are tax deductible.

* All transactions conducted on our Web site are encrypted using a secure server to protect your privacy. To make your donation now, please select one of the options below.


Help the Janet Sue Mason Foundation with ongoing support by becoming one of our sponsors.

Interested in working with the Janet Sue Mason Foundation / CONTACT US

The Janet Sue Mason Foundation, Inc., also accepts cash gifts, real estate, stocks and bonds and insurance policies as gifts. The Foundation's board reserves the right to decline any non-cash gift. The value of non-cash gifts will be determined at the time of the gift according to the applicable IRS regulations at the time of the gift. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity, gifts are tax deductible in accordance with provisions of the federal Income tax code.

get involved

NOW! is the time to get involved. Contact us directly to become part of the Janet Sue Mason volunteers.

There are over 10 treatment facilities here in Las Vegas - we are seeking volunteers to help us better serve them.

Since our efforts are customized to each treatment facility and each community it is vital to have local clinic volunteers in our network. With your help the foundation can tailor its programs to the specific needs of your community.

Ways you can help:

for men only

Gentlemen, your life will be touched by breast cancer. Be it your wife, your lover, your mother, daughter, sister, work colleague or close friend, your life will be touched. Over a quarter of a million women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. While advances are being made in diagnoses and treatment, the attitude and mental strength of the patient is clearly the major factor in the ultimate outcome. We cannot let breast cancer have its way with our women. We can’t! We must get involved.

If life hands you the challenge of supporting your loved one through her ordeal, seize it with vigor. It will prove to you what love is and what it really means to be a MAN. You will need courage, patience, strength and constant, caring compassion for your loved one. You will take on tasks you used to consider “woman’s work.” You will be surprised at how difficult they are and how badly you do them……at first. You will also be amazed at how good it feels when you master them and know you are truly helping the one you love.

Always be there for her... really be there. Go with her to the doctor appointments…all the way into the doctor’s office! Don’t just sit in the waiting room reading ancient magazines, she’s your loved one, you have every right to be with her. You are a second set of eyes and ears, remember she is under enormous emotional strain and needs your help in comprehending what her treatments entail.

Be there for those Chemo sessions, you will never know how much that means to her. Be firm with the caregivers that your place is with her, and be willing to take it up with “the supervisor” if your access is denied. Learn holding hands all over again. You loved to do it early in your relationship; well, you are now in a new relationship with her. You not only make her ordeal easier, don’t kid yourself, you are a major warrior in the fight for her life!

Strive always to be her "K.I.S.A." That is her highest award for you - her Knight In Shining Armor! Always have the comfort of knowing you are doing everything you can to support her, to help her fight, to show her how much you care. Her K.I.S.A. is her hero, her greatest comfort and her source of endless hope and courage. It is an achievement you will wear with pride for the rest of your life.

We have men who have gone the distance; every one of them is ready and willing to be a resource for you. Have a question? we’ll try to answer it for you. Need direction? we’ll try to head you in the right way. Just need someone to talk to, you’ve got it. We need to beat this thing, and together we can!

Gentlemen, start your engines and let’s get going. We have love to give and lives to save. It’s not easy, but you will never know the depth of the reservoir of strength and love you possess until you take on this challenge. Remember, we are here to help.


President: Michael G. Beckner, JD, Las Vegas, NV
Lawyer, Judge and Educator (Retired)

Vice President: Vikki Beckner, Lenexa, KS
Special Education Teacher

Secretary: Vicki A. Beckner, Indian Wells, CA
Founder and Managing Member, Computer U Learning Centers, LLC

Treasurer: Jill Roberts, Oklahoma City, OK
Airman’s Medical Records Department, FAA

Managing Director: Michael G. Beckner (see above)

Director: Dr. Lisa Bliss, Newport Beach, CA
Former NASA training program employee. Senior associate with Education 2020, providing online and virtual classroom software for high school programs.
Cancer Survivor

Director: Janet Carroll, New York, New York
Professional Actress, Singer, Vocalist and Performer
Cancer Survivor

Director: Sarah Hankins, Orlando, FL
Professional Event Planner

Director: Peggy G. Meader, Waverly, KS
President Computer Hardware Distribution Company

Director: Patricia Nelson, R.N., Las Vegas, NV
Oncology Nurse

Director: Susan C. Rainey, Las Vegas, NV
Restaurant, Food and Beverage Industry

Director: Marie Sarno, Las Vegas, NV
Regional Vice President, Hilton Grand Vacations Company

Director: Nancy White, R.N., Henderson, NV
Retired Registered Nurse
Owner/Artist "The Leprechauns’ Garden"


Call us at (702) 362-2475
Email us at mbeckner@daretolive.us


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past events

Listen to a sample from Composer Jeremy Woolstenhulme. APRIL courtesy of KJOS