Despite a debilitating winter freeze that covered the roads and windshields of metro Denver, Wings of Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Research managed to raise more than $75,000 at November’s annual Evening of Hope fundraiser
“We had contemplated cancellation due to the weather, but the turnout was one of our best and the amount raised was indeed the most at any Evening of Hope event,” said Maureen Shul, Wings of Hope is founder and executive director.
The funds raised at Evening of Hope, coupled with those generated at Wings of Hope is other year-round events, give crucial support to groundbreaking research into pancreatic cancer at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center on the Anschutz Medical Campus.
“We’re very lucky to have support from Wings of Hope,” said Dr. Karyn Goodman, CU Anschutz’s director of radiology. “We spend many years working on this research and we have to find support from people who are willing to invest. It’s such a wonderful foundation.”
At least one study balancing the pros and cons of radiation therapy was literally saved by Wings of Hope.
“I was about ready to shut down the project—my technician was leaving. It’s only because of Wings of Hope that we were able to continue, and we’ve made a lot of progress,” said Dr. Sana Karam, the study’s principal investigator.
This year, thanks to Wings of Hope’s ongoing support, the organization offered three research grants to CU researchers while simultaneously supporting an important clinical trial that ventures to learn if a blood-pressure medication can help in the delivery of chemotherapy to the difficult-to-reach pancreas.
The other research grants include one to develop combination treatment strategies with chemotherapy and another to test if a drug approved to treat blood cancer can mobilize the immune system of pancreatic cancer patients.
Such projects will grow into even larger research—thanks to the spreading of Wings of Hope, said Dr. Richard Schulick, director of the CU Cancer Center.
“The beauty is that it allows the scientists and clinicians to get more data to submit to grant-funding organizations like National Institutes of Health. That enables multi-million-dollar grants, which otherwise would not be possible,” Schulick said.
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