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Community Philanthropy Awareness

CU Cancer Center is Taking a Leap for a Cure in 2021

Members of CU Cancer Center are coming together to help raise money for cancer research while going Over the Edge with Cancer League of Colorado.

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 21, 2021

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is at it again this year, gathering a group of 12 employees or members who will rappel 44 stories to raise money and awareness for Colorado-based cancer research. The Over the Edge event is put on by the Cancer League of Colorado (CLC).

Cancer League of Colorado’s mission is to secure the cure or control of cancer by raising funds to support innovative cancer research and cancer-related services in the state of Colorado. It is a nonprofit company that has more than 400 volunteer members who share the commitment to fight cancer and support cancer research. Since 1985, Cancer League has raised and dispensed nearly $20 million to support Colorado research, patient care, and family programs.

If you are interested in donating to the CU Cancer Center team, please head over to our team website

Learn about the CU Cancer Center team members who are rappelling this year. 


rich

 

Richard Schulick, MD, MBA

Director

 

I decided to participate because my team and I are “leaping for the cure.” When we attack a problem as deadly and debilitating as cancer, we have to consider going “over the edge.” In 2021, it is estimated that 1.9 million Americans will be diagnosed with a new cancer and there will be 608,570 cancer deaths. My team and I work at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, which has 273 members across three university campuses including the Anschutz Medical Campus, the University of Colorado Boulder and Colorado State University. We also have members at the University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Colorado and the VA Medical Center. We are passionate about our efforts to “prevent and conquer cancer – Together” (our vision), and in “Uniting our community to overcome cancer through innovation, discovery, prevention, early detection, multidisciplinary care, and education” (our mission). We will jump off of any building required to achieve this.

James

 

James DeGregori, PhD

Deputy Director

 

The Cancer League of Colorado is a MAJOR supporter of cancer research for our cancer center and for Colorado. I’m not doing this for fun (I’m terrified of building edges; seriously), but those with cancer don’t have a choice. So I’m facing my fears to raise money to help them with their battle.

Wells

 

Wells Messersmith, MD

Associate Director of Translational Research

 

I am going "over the edge" to support my patients and their families, and to honor my brother, a leukemia survivor whose life was saved by an allogeneic bone marrow transplant 12 years ago.

 

Tin tin

 

Tin Tin Su, PhD

Co-Leader of the Molecular and Cellular Oncology Program

 

I have always been fascinated by how cancer is the evil version of our own normal cells. My research is aimed at understanding how that can be and what we can do about it. I am participating in Over the Edge because I want to sustain the momentum of recent breakthroughs by cancer researchers. Careers of myself and my trainees have benefited from generous donations that funded our research and this is my way of making a very small contribution to that effort.

Steph-farmer

 

Stephanie Farmer, MHA

Associate Director of Administration and Finance

 

Like many others, I have numerous friends and family who have been diagnosed with cancer. Most recently it has touched very close to home. In 2017 my cousin, who is like my sister, was diagnosed with lymphoma. I walked with her and her husband through all of her doctor appointments and infusions at UCH. On the day of her 1-year cancer-free appointment in August 2018 in the UCH Blood Disorders Clinic, I was literally around the corner in another exam room with my father in an initial consultation with another physician about his multiple myeloma diagnosis. 40+ years ago, my dad’s brother, my cousin’s dad, died of multiple myeloma at a time where there were no treatment options. Today, my cousin continues to be cancer-free and is doing well. My dad has responded well to his treatments. Due to his type of cancer, he will continue with treatment for the rest of his life unless a cure is found. Participating in this event is one way I can contribute to the fight against cancer by raising funds for research. It is because of advances in treatment that my cousin and especially my dad are both here today.

Jamie

 

Jamie Studts, PhD

Co-Leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program and Co-Leader of the Population Health Shared Resource

 

Over the Edge is an attention-grabbing activity to build community awareness and engagement in support of cancer research that will lead to better cancer survivorship.

Mercedes Rincon

 

Mercedes Rincon, PhD

CU Cancer Center member

 

When you think your life is fine, and there is so much in front of you, suddenly cancer comes to you, often stays with you and your life is no longer the same. Through decades of intensive research, full dedication and motivation of scientists, we now have new treatments that increase the lifespan while maintaining quality of life of a number of cancer patients. But unfortunately, these treatments do not work for all. In the last few years, I lost a very good friend to breast cancer right when she started her retirement, another very good friend to pancreatic cancer (without having the chance to say goodbye), and my wonderful young cousin to AML. Thus, we cannot give up on the fight against cancer, and we need to continue our research to save more lives. Going over the edge and coming down on the rope, as scary as it will be, will further invigorate my commitment to this goal.

Scott Cramer

 

Scott Cramer, PhD

CU Cancer Center member

 

Like many people, cancer has affected many people in my life; family and friends. This has driven me to study cancer as a career. The CLC is an important organization that provide resources to cancer researchers in Colorado. I was on the scientific advisory board for the CLC for four years. During that time I saw many outstanding research projects go unfunded due to a lack of sufficient money to support the projects. There are many organizations raising money for various causes, including cancer, but many of them use donations to support the infrastructure of the organization. Not so with CLC. One-hundred percent of the money that is donated goes directly to cancer research in Colorado. I am not exactly comfortable with heights. Over the Edge will be a real challenge to me, but nothing compared to the challenges faced daily by people living with cancer.

Marshall

 

Marshall Ward, CPA

Assistant Director of Finance

 

I participated last year to honor my aunt who battled breast cancer and really enjoyed the opportunity to raise money and awareness for cancer research. I can't wait to do it again.

Andy

 

Andy Wise

Program Director of the Data & Safety Monitoring Committee (DSMC)

 

Few of us need to look very far for loved ones whose lives have been affected by cancer. I am proud, if a bit apprehensive, to embrace the challenge and “go over the edge” (with adequate safety precautions of course). I want to support and honor those folks, both in my professional and personal life, that have faced their own challenges without the same assurances of safety. I have also witnessed firsthand the impact that clinical trials have on cancer outcomes for individuals, as well as their contributions toward advances in cancer care more broadly. I feel privileged for the opportunity to play a small role in helping to conquer cancer together.

Jamie SchultzJamie Schultz

Clinical Research Coordinator of POEMS (Phase One, Expansion and Molecular Studies) & Sarcoma Teams

 

Like many other people, cancer hits close to home for me. My grandfather died of a rare plasma cancer, multiple myeloma, and I presently see my friends, neighbors, and family fight cancer every day. I happened to get involved in clinical trials by accident, when I was in high school, doing an internship to graduate. I happened to work with Opdivo, an immunotherapy trial drug now approved by the FDA. I was touched by my internship so I went to college to specifically work in oncology clinical trials. I joined the CU Cancer Clinical Trials Office (CCTO) as a passion in fighting cancer, providing care to those who need it, and to be on the cutting edge of innovative medical treatments. I do so in the memory of my grandfather and all other lives lost to this disease. 

ShellyShelly Lange

Internal Communications Specialist

 

I have lost several family members to a variety of cancers, but most recently I lost my dad to colon cancer. I would love to contribute to finding a cure so that no one ever has to suffer the loss of a loved one again.

 

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