2013 Woman of Distinction Dianne Farb

Dianne Farb
Climb for Cancer

Dianne Farb and her husband Ron, a longtime mountain climbing enthusiast, were avid givers to cancer charities, both having personal experience with loved ones with cancer. That’s when Dianne had a brainstorm.

“We’re both devoted to the cause,” Dianne said. “I thought ‘why don’t we just create our own fund and decide where the money goes?’”

And so, Climb for Cancer was born. The foundation uses the money to offset financial challenges faced by the most vulnerable cancer patients – children and low-income families. They provide money for things such as lodging and gas to get to and from treatment facilities. Things that health insurance and other charities don’t cover.

“Climb for Cancer was a natural connection, given my husband’s passion,” said Dianne. “I am much more comfortable with my feet on the ground, so I manage the day-to-day operations much closer to sea level.”

While Ron serves as the public face for the foundation, Dianne keeps her feet grounded, maintaining the books and legal paperwork, managing mailings and planning special events (among other things).

Laura Press, who supported Dianne’s Women of Distinction nomination, wrote in a letter, “As someone who has personally witnessed Dianne’s commitment to numerous causes, I can attest to her tireless dedication and extraordinarily high standards and ethics. Dianne is an inspiration and model for other women to emulate. Dianne has always been committed to a life of service and personal improvement, beginning with her decision to attend law school as a non-traditional student.”

Dianne was born and raised in Jacksonville. She earned a bachelor’s degree in literature from University of North Florida in 1997, where she graduated summa cum laude and received the award for Excellence in Literary Scholarship. Following that, she went on to earn a juris doctor with honors from UF in 2000.

In addition to her work with Climb for Cancer, Dianne has pursued her passion for writing, publishing two novels, “The Promise of Change” and “Rescuing Lacey” under the pen name Rebecca Heflin.

In the back of her mind, Dianne always knew she wanted to write and explore her literary talents.

“I always wanted to write, but I guess I never had the courage,” Dianne said. “I was so busy with the day-to-day of the foundation, and working, that I needed a creative outlet.”

Her creative outlet has really taken off, and Dianne is currently working on a third novel.

If there is one theme in Dianne’s life, it’s that “it’s never too late.” She has proven this by going back to school and completing her law degree, starting a successful charity and becoming a published author. And, there is still time for more.