Dedicated to Funding Research
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama is making a donation of $500,000 this year to UAB for cancer research. This latest contribution brings the foundation's cumulative gifts to cancer research at UAB to nearly $4.5 million since 1996, when the organization was founded.
Bruce Sokol became a co-founder of the BCRFA about a year after his wife, D.D., was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"I was trying to help find a cure while she was alive," he says. "After much consternation about what I could do with all the energy that had been built up inside me...it led me toward raising money." Fortunately for Bruce, he did not have far to look to find an appropriate recipient for the money. "Being in a community with UAB, and them being on the cutting-edge of cancer research, it was a great fit," he says.
BCRFA co-founder Dolly O'Neal has her own personal experience with the disease, having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1994. After surgery, she was given the all-clear at the time. When she and Bruce started the foundation, she says she wasn't thinking of her own health.
"We wanted to raise money for research, and my goal was to keep my daughter and her generation from going through this," Dolly says.
But Dolly's breast cancer came back in 2009, and her doctor at the cancer center, Andres Forero, M.D., treated her successfully using a new drug the center was testing. Her cancer came back again in December, and Dolly is being treated using another new drug the center is putting through a Phase-3 trial.
In both cases, money from the foundation helped fund the research. Such donations are critical given recent reductions in federal funding, according to Dr. Forero, senior scientist at the center. This support from the foundation—when divided up into smaller sums for investigators at the cancer center—allows those scientists to gather the data they need to give their funding proposals a better chance of success when they seek bigger grants from external sources.
The foundation's annual donation to UAB is funded with the proceeds from its fundraising efforts during the previous year, including events, individual and community donations, and sales of specialty breast cancer license plates.
Show Your Support
Research makes an ideal area for estate gifts that continue to give far into the future. For more information about giving to the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, visit www3.ccc.uab.edu.