Message from Beverly Koehn, SA Cancer Council President 2017-2018:
Three years ago, our SA Cancer Council began a new initiative, one that was targeted specifically toward pilot research studies. We named this project Circles of Hope, which clearly defines our mission of hoping for a cure.
Each Circle is comprised of 10 individuals/couples who commit to a $2,500 contribution for two years to underwrite a specific study/drug trial. Once the Circle is formed, Dr. Ruben Mesa, director of the Mays Cancer Center, compiles a list of the top research projects needing funding, selects the top three, and then submits them to the Circle to select the one they wish to fund. The studies are generally a year in length, and Circle members receive updates twice a year. This $25,000 in many cases makes the difference in a pilot study moving forward or stagnating, waiting for other outside funding and grants. As you can imagine, the pool asking for research funding is staggering and many worthy studies are set aside simply because of lack of funding.
In 2018, another incredible incentive was added to the Circles of Hope initiative. Dr. Mesa pledged that for every $25,000 raised by Circle members, the Mays Cancer Center would match those funds to commit $50,000 in pilot study research. As you can imagine, this has made a tremendous impact on the success of drug trials moving forward, which greatly impacts the ability of our doctors and researchers to help cure and prevent this horrible disease.
As incoming chair of the 2019 Circles of Hope project, my goal is to take our project to the next level. My goal is to have no less than five active Circles in place at all times. That’s $250,000 being allotted specifically to research without any overhead or administrative fees attached. This $250,000 will make a huge difference in supporting our doctors’ and researchers’ work, plus it gives Circle members an opportunity to make a real difference for only $2,500. My hope is that you, too, will decide to join us in the fight to find a cure and join a Circle.
If you are interested in learning more about joining a Circle of Hope, please contact me, Beverly Koehn. Let’s make 2019 the year we truly make a dent in cancer history!
To learn more about the Circles of Hope, click here.