Update, today, we are waiting to learn if my Dad has liver cancer. Its shocking and cruel to be in the midst of raising money in honor of my Grandma Genie's life that was cut short at age 56 by liver cancer and my Dad gets this news. This time last summer, my mom, Nancy, was surprisingly a patient for a very long week in the same hospital where Genie bravely fought liver cancer. Sadly, grandma Genie, was only 56 when she lost the battle in 1957. Thankfully, Nancy is doing well today! I am asking for a donation of $56 in honor of Genie to VAI (Van Andel Institute, www.vai.org, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Genie was from the Grand Rapids area.) to celebrate and support 6 decades of biomedical research that have improved lives since 1957.
I am running 26.2 miles in the Chicago Marathon on October 7, 2018 to support VAI. Scientists at VAI seek to put an end to the many diseases we all fight such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and to several neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. It takes 10 years and a billion dollars to get a new therapy to a patient’s bedside!
Thank you in advance! I appreciate your support very much! Grandma Genie had a big heart for all children. She earned two degrees in education (during the years 1920s-1950s) and enjoyed working with children with special needs. She is remembered as being a trailblazer in the field of education when teachers were expected to remain unmarried (or quit if you did marry). Genie grew up on a rural farm and was regularly exposed to dangerous fertilizers. She encouraged my mom, Nancy, to pursue her dream of attending Columbia University in NYC which she did get into- although, all of those plans changed abruptly and my mom followed in her footsteps locally. Genie is not forgotten. We don’t have many pics of her because like a lot of moms, she was behind the camera most of the time! We talk about her often 61 years later. Hoping that more families do not have to go through anything similar!
Every single dollar raised will go directly to biomedical research fighting disease
- research is expensive
- funding is at a historic low!
- funding VAI's Epigenetics and Epigenomics teams who develop the new therapies we all need
- because it takes 10 years + a billion dollars = to get a new therapy to a patient's bedside!
- VAI inspires kids in West Michigan to learn science through wonderful classes, camps and more at VAI's Education Institute!
Cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as: Asthma, Alzheimer’s, Blood cancer, Bone cancer, Breast cancer, Colorectal cancer, Depression/suicide, Diabetes, Heart disease, Huntington’s, Lewy Body Dementia, Neurofibromatosis type 1, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Ovarian cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Parkinson’s, Prion diseases, Prostate cancer, Sarcoma are some of the diseases scientists research at VAI.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning”- Albert Einstein
Besides donating to scientific research, we can focus on modifiable risk factors--things that we can change--either individually or within our community to prevent disease such as:
- Physical activity
- Stress management and adequate sleep
- Nutrition and healthy eating habits
- Reduced exposure to radiation and chemicals that affect hormones or otherwise raise cancer risk
- No or limited alcohol consumption
- Breastfeeding (breast cancer)
- Health equity
Learn more about VAI at: www.vai.org