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J Oncol Pract. 2006 January; 2(1): 44.
PMCID: PMC2794647

The ASCO Foundation and the Hurricane Relief Fund: A Critical Collaboration

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Michael B. Troner, MD

The best practice of oncology is a result of collaboration and partnership. Through partnerships with private businesses, foundations, and individuals, the ASCO Foundation obtains vital support for programs that inspire ingenuity in research, invigorates a new generation of oncologists, brings new treatment options to great numbers of practitioners and their patients, and advocates for policy that enriches the lives of people living with cancer and their families.

The mission of the ASCO Foundation is to support educational programs of the highest quality in cancer care and prevention; facilitate the dissemination of information about cancer and cancer treatment to patients and their families; and, through its grants program, support, encourage, and recognize excellence in clinical research in the field of oncology.

The ASCO Foundation partners with ASCO in many important ways. Most recently, the ASCO Foundation and ASCO joined forces in responding to feedback from the cancer community by creating the ASCO Foundation Hurricane Relief Fund, with the goal of raising $1 million to ensure that cancer patients affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita continue to receive care, treatment, and support services.

The ASCO Foundation has been heartened to see offers of aid coming in quickly and from so many different sources. Oncologists and others in the cancer care community have been particularly supportive of this effort, and as a result, we are more than half way to the realization of our $1 million goal. Generous contributions have been made to date by ASCO members, individuals, oncology practices, corporations, and foundations from around the world. Included in this list are Amgen, Inc. (Thousand Oaks, California); Sanofi-Aventis (Bridgewater, New Jersey); Delaware Society of Clinical Oncology (Newark, Delaware); Northern New England Clinical Oncology Society (Sandown, New Hampshire); New York State Society of Medical Oncologists & Hematologists, Inc. (Warwick, New York); Northern Fox Valley Chapter of the Oncology Nurses Society (Barrington, Illinois); Society of Rhode Island Clinical Oncologists (Providence, Rhode Island); Ropes & Gray (Washington, DC); Spouses of the Physicians of Charleston Hematology and Oncology (Charleston, South Carolina); and the Tennessee Oncology Practice Society (Columbus, Ohio).

The ASCO Foundation is honored to be able to disburse 100% of the donations made to the ASCO Foundation Hurricane Relief Fund in support of the people with cancer from southern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas who have been affected by the hurricanes. The monies raised from the Hurricane Relief Fund will be disbursed through nonprofit organizations, such as CancerCare, that offer free financial and psychosocial support services to cancer patients.

The funds have helped people like Barbara Blahut from Biloxi, Mississippi, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma on a naval hospital ship and found out she needed a stem-cell transplantation 1 week after Katrina destroyed her home. Blahut has no health insurance and receives no funding from Medicare or the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). The ASCO Foundation Hurricane Relief Fund is helping her with her day-to-day costs, including traveling, treatment, and other basic needs.

Make a Difference

With your important support, the ASCO Foundation will be able to make a difference in the lives of people living with cancer who have been victims of these natural disasters. If you would like to contribute to the ASCO Foundation Hurricane Relief Fund, please visit or contact the ASCO Foundation at 888-220-2839.

Articles from Journal of Oncology Practice are provided here courtesy of American Society of Clinical Oncology