A Little Interruption

While this time of year is normally known as the countdown to Selection Sunday- we interrupt this college basketball season for a week of the NBA.

For one week- the NBA, ESPN, The V Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Hospital are coming together to raise awareness NBACares_PediatricCancerAwarenessCampaigns_Logosheet.Option2and money for pediatric cancer research. Through March 4, you can donate to the promotion here.

The V Foundation funds three different types of grants: V Scholar, Translational and Designated grants. In the past The V Foundation has awarded $2.1 million dollars in V Scholar and Translational grants to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in the past.

This year an estimated 12,060 children between the ages of 1-14 will be diagnosed with cancer. While the survival rates for the many different types of pediatric cancer are on the rise, is there any number acceptable besides 100%?

Help The V Foundation and its partners fight pediatric cancer and enjoy professional basketball at the same time!

Here are the games to check out this week: 

Sun., 2/24          MEM @ BKN; 7pm/ESPN

Sun., 2/24          CHI @ OKC; 9:30pm/ESPN

Wed., 2/27        GSW @ NYK; 8pm/ESPN

Wed., 2/27        [email protected]; 10:30pm/ESPN     

Fri., 3/1              MEM @ MIA; 8pm/ESPN

Fri., 3/1             [email protected]; 10:30pm/ESPN

Sun., 3/3            CHI @ IND; 8pm/ESPN

Investing in our Future: Myth or Fact?

We polled the staff of The V Foundation to see what the most common myths were…here’s the top five! The answers were written by our Communications Intern, Kaylon Kirk.

MYTH: The V Foundation is a large organization with hundreds of  employees, located all over the country.

FACT: Perhaps the most common misconception about The V Foundation is that we have hundreds of staff and multiple offices.  Believe it or not, we do what we do with only 16 employees out of our office in Cary, North Carolina. “A lot of people think we are a big foundation with a huge staff, “ said Steve Scott, Senior Development Officer. “They are surprised to find out that we are a lean, mean, nimble machine!”


MYTH: We are owned by ESPN.

FACT: We are proud to work closely with ESPN, but in fact, they are our founding partner. ESPN has helped The V Foundation raise millions of dollars for cancer research each year. Their media exposure, especially during our annual V Week on ESPN, has taken our Foundation from a regional non-profit to a nationally prominent charity. When V Week takes place, the employees of ESPN work as ambassadors for The V Foundation, reaching out to their loyal and generous fans for support and donations.

MYTH: We only focus on certain types of Cancer.

FACT: The V Foundation is proud to raise funding for all types of cancer. We have given hundreds of grants to fund research of all different types of cancer, including leukemia/lymphoma, melanoma, ewings sarcoma, myeloma as well as breast, pediatric, lung, pancreatic, prostate, brain, colon, renal, gastrointestinal, thyroid, cervical and ovarian cancers. We have also given over $20 million to general cancer research. All in all, we have awarded $100 million for cancer research.

MYTH: We only give grants to young cancer investigators.

FACT: We give three different types of grants: V Scholar, Translational and Designated Grants. The V Scholar grants provide funding directly to young scientists, in particular, to establish their own independent laboratory and gain the competitive edge necessary to earn additional funding to further their research from other sources. Translational grants facilitate the transition of projects from the laboratory to the clinics, where scientists and clinicians are applying fundamental knowledge of cancer and bringing the benefits of new basic-level understandings to patients more quickly and efficiently. Designated grants fund projects in communities local to the fundraising area.  Supporters and donors work together to identify a specific cancer research program or facility, and money raised goes toward that facility or program.

MYTH: We raise money solely through events.  

FACT: Through The V Foundation, there are many different ways to give, beyond our signature fundraising events. You can pledge a monthly amount by joining our monthly giving program, donate in honor or in memory of a friend or loved one, give through our endowment fund, or even create your own personal tribute fund, just to name a few! Also, you can always create your own event!

How will you help? 2012 Corporate Video

If you had told my dad when I was in high school that I would end up in communications, I don’t think he would believe you. I loved numbers. I was great with numbers. I used to beg for him to teach me my multiplication tables and insist that he quizzed me on the way to dance class. 

I still love numbers and looking at things in a numerical format. That’s why, for today’s blog about our corporate video– I’m going to give it to you in numbers. 5 numbers to be exact.

  • 469. The amount of grants we have awarded since 1994.
  • 28.9 million. The amount of dollars we have awarded in V Scholar Grants to help develop promising research talent.
  • 29.6 million. The amount of dollars we have awarded in Designated Grants to fund local and regional projects.
  • 31.8 million. The amount of dollars we have awarded in Translational Research Grants tohelp move research from the lab to the clinics and help patients more quickly.
  • 1 (First). “The V Foundation was the very first one to actually support our work in this direction.At the time this work was perceived as somewhat of a esoteric and uncertain. As years have gone by, The V Foundation was proven right.” 2005 Designated Grant, Dr. Michel Sadelain

Those numbers alone should make you want to check out our 2012 Corporate Video and see what some of our researchers have been up to.

Those numbers should make you want to #PassTheV to your friends, family and co-workers.

Those numbers should make you realize that the millions of dollars that The V Foundation has raised is going to good use and your donation is worth it. 

I’m going to post the video on my Facebook wall, Twitter feed and I’m even going to Pin it to help support The V Foundation. How will you help?

Grateful Grants: Dr. Andrea Richardson

The V Foundation blog plans to spotlight different V Scholar Grant, Translational Grant and Designated Grant recipients in a monthly series called Grateful Grants. This month we are going to talk about one amazing scientist who is making a difference in a particular type of breast cancer research.  

Dr. Andrea Richardson, who received a 2008 Translational Grant from The V Foundation, is leading a lab at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Her lab has made advancements in breast cancer therapy techniques. The therapy has proven results in shrinking tumors in triple-negative breast cancer patients. Now, some of you might be asking yourself, what is triple-negative breast cancer … let me shed a little bit of light for you.

Most breast cancers are fueled by the lack of three “receptors” such as estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). A woman with triple-negative breast cancer means that the tumor is a negative for all of these receptors.

QuotesThe Triple Breast Negative Cancer Foundation states that this type of cancer generally responds to chemotherapy but that it does not respond to receptor targeted treatments. Also, the TNBC states that this cancer can more aggressive and more likely to recur. For more information on Triple Negative Breast Cancer you should check out the guide.

We are grateful that the Dr. Richardson is making advances in this type of cancer and can’t wait to see what she does in the future!



Movie Stars in Their Own Right

Dr. Johanna JoyceDoctors Johanna Joyce, Michel Sadelain and Minkui Luo may not be movie stars, but they will be making an on screen appearance in The V Foundation’s 2012-2013 corporate video. The three researchers work in labs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and are in the process of making impressive developments in cancer research

Dr. Joyce, photographed to the left, received a V Scholar Grant in 2005 and she’s currently studying how tumor cells grow and spread.  Her lab is primarily focused on this complex process in brain tumors. Joyce said The V Foundation’s support gave her the confidence and recognition she needed to get her lab started. 

Dr. Sadelain was awarded a Designated Grant from The V Foundation in 2005 and  he’s developing cell engineering techniques that have been able to recognize and kill tumor cells. Sadelain’s developments are already being used in six clinical trials at Sloan-Kettering.

Dr. Luo was a 2009 recipient of The V Foundation’s V Scholar Grant. Luo is now studying a specific cancer protein and the role it plays in ovarian cancer, leukemia and melanoma. Luo said his lab will hopefully be able to use this study to develop a drug that can attack and slow cancer cells. 

While the doctors at Sloan-Kettering might not have Academy Awards in their future, their work is certainly worthy of note and has earned them an even more important role — doctors searching for a cure. 

Continued Success

Because the scientists we help fund are always working to develop the latest and greatest breakthroughs in cancer research, we want to brag about them a little bit. These are just some of the success-story makers who are working tirelessly to find a cure for the disease that affects so many…

Dr. Neil Spector, who received a V Scholar Grant in 1996, is now an oncologist at the Duke Cancer Institute and he’s helping the campus bridge the gap between research in the lab and treatment in the clinic. By focusing on physician-scientist training and added research training in medical schools, Duke has made great strides in improving translational research. These programs will help give cancer patients access to the most innovative treatments out there.

Since Dr. Walter Stadler received his Designated Grant in 2004, he’s been leading the distinguished Genitourinary Program at the University of Chicago’s Cancer Center. He was able to announce recently that prostate cancer that has spread can now be considered a chronic disease that’s manageable for even decades.

At the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Andrei Thomas-Tikhonenko and his co-investigator Dr. Stephen Grupp are using their 2011 Translational Grant in hopes of developing a treatment that will slow the spread and growth of lymphocytic leukemia. They are confident that their work will be able to move quickly from the lab to the clinic with the help of The V Foundation’s support.

While this doesn’t even begin to cover all the areas that The V Foundation-funded researchers are working in, it does give an idea of how important your support is in the fight against cancer.