We are excited to announce the inaugural Step Up for Stefanie’s Champions Walk/Run on April 23, 2016. Our goal is to bring families together to celebrate Champions in the lives of cancer survivors. We will continue to recognize and present the Champion Awards on this very special day.
When the Spielman Fund was launched, Stefanie and Chris Spielman had a goal of raising $250,000 for the breast cancer heroes in our community. Today — through their work and donors like you — more than $17 million has been raised to support patients with breast cancer and research at the OSUCCC – James.
This year, Chris Spielman, founder and champion of the Spielman Fund and former Ohio State Buckeye and NFL player, has committed to matching all donations this month to the Spielman Fund (up to $5,000). This means your donation of $50 will have the impact of a $100 donation. That your donation of $100 will provide $200 of funding for breast cancer research. Just imagine what can be accomplished when we all give.
What Is the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research?
Donations to the Spielman Fund support research at Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and help advance the fight against breast cancer. Stefanie Spielman, the fund’s namesake, battled for many years before passing away in 2009.Below are a few examples of how funds are being used from a recent presentation to Chris Spielman about the fund's work.
Robert Brueggemeier, PhD presented preliminary findings from an early-stage drug discovery collaboration between pharmacy and molecular genetics that he is leading. Now in the proof-of-concept stage, this project is investigating breast cancer cell growth and MPS1, a protein often found to be elevated in breast cancer patients — especially those for whom other treatments have failed. Findings from this Spielman-funded study are enabling the publication of a research paper and proposals to the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense to continue the drug’s development.
Early-stage drug discovery is important and is increasingly done by universities rather than pharmaceutical companies, explained Brueggemeier, because it is risky and does not always result in a marketable drug. Early findings from Brueggemeier’s study show promise; if further research continues to yield positive results, the drug could one day become part of an Ohio State-led clinical trial.
Ramesh Ganju, PhD is working to develop a therapy against triple negative and metastatic breast cancer that targets both the tumor and the areas surrounding tumors. Early findings have shown great promise, as tumors in mice receiving this therapy have shown significantly reduced growth and spread. Thanks to funding from the Spielman Fund and a Pelotonia Idea Grant, Ganju recently secured funding from the National Cancer Institute that will enable new discoveries.
Ganju’s project demonstrates the huge importance of donor-funded research at the OSUCCC – James. Because the Spielman Fund grant provided seed funding for his research, Ganju was able to generate exciting preliminary findings that enabled him to secure funding from an extremely competitive federal grant program — funding he may not have received without the Spielman Fund’s early support.
Despite his longstanding relationship and strong familiarity with the researchers and programs at the OSUCCC – James, Chris’ continued awe of their innovative work was evident. He praised their accomplishments, saying, "When I am out speaking with folks fighting this disease, I want to be able to give them a reason to hope. You are doing that right here at The James, and I really appreciate it."
He emphasized how important it is for him to be able to describe the research discoveries to the people he regularly meets at his public speaking engagements about breast cancer. A self-professed "cancer warrior," Chris often meets those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer. He can empathize with them firsthand and knows that a major source of hope for families in the midst of the struggle is that brilliant minds at places such as the OSUCCC – James are hard at work to find a cure.
"I am so grateful for your dedication and your passion," Chris told the researchers. "The work you are doing is going to make a difference to so many people."
Make a gift to the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research.
The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Patient Assistance
The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Patient Assistance has assisted breast cancer patients and their families who have struggled to afford the costs associated with treatment.
Make a gift to the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Patient Assistance.