Foundation News Archive

Giving Back: By Bill Koman

  • May 9, 2010
  • Number of views: 749


Will You Join Us at the Next Frontier in Cancer Care and Cure?

When cancer touches your life, as it did mine, there’s no question that you want the latest and best treatment options for yourself or someone you love.  But you don’t have to travel to Memorial Sloan-Kettering, MD Anderson, or the Mayo Clinic for world-class care. You’ll find it in your own backyard at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine.

Washington University physicians at Siteman aren’t just applying the latest discoveries — they’re making them. They’re at the forefront of many exciting new directions for beating cancer. But this complex disease is going to take a lot of time, dollars and effort to cure…especially when it comes to advancing promising ideas that don’t yet have the traction to receive federal research grants. That’s the inspiration behind the Cancer Frontier Fund.

Money raised by the Cancer Frontier Fund will promote innovation and collaboration among Siteman’s superstars and up-and-coming researchers alike so that bold ideas can turn into clinical applications more quickly. We’re offering a new avenue for fueling the brilliant minds, vast knowledge and exceptional technology that keeps Siteman at the leading edge of global cancer centers. For us, our kids and our grandkids, this means a better chance for beating cancer.

Every dollar given to the Cancer Frontier Fund also stays in St. Louis. As we invest these dollars into the Siteman Cancer Center, we’ll create jobs, retain the best researchers, draw more patients regionally and nationally, and enhance Siteman’s reputation as a top center for cancer treatment, research, discovery and cures. Your gifts to the Cancer Frontier Fund will feed the strength of this community and bolster the local economy.

In 2009, my wife Amy and I worked with the leadership of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine to develop the concept for the Cancer Frontier Fund, in the hope that it would ultimately inject $50 to $100 million into innovative cancer research at Siteman. We cannot do it alone. Many individuals gave our dream momentum by making major gifts last year totaling more than $1.4 million, and we are grateful for that. We look forward to raising that bar even higher this year at the illumination10 gala to benefit the Cancer Frontier Fund. But your gift does not need to have a lot of zeroes at the end to be welcome. Imagine the huge impact if 50,000 people gave $50 each to the Cancer Frontier Fund (and you can do it instantly by visiting the Cancer Frontier Fund page at That adds up to $2.5 million!

St. Louis is a generous community where we have great faith in our medical community to promote our health.  I truly believe that the Siteman Cancer Center is the best game in town, and I’m glad to be in a position to give back — and to invite others to give back — to keep it that way and to help it continue its ascent among the elite around the world. When you think of giving for cancer research…when you think of speeding up the pace for cures…when you think of supporting world-class care…I want you to think of the Siteman Cancer Center and the Cancer Frontier Fund.

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