The Susan G. Komen Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Initiative is working to raise one million dollars to find treatments and cures for metastatic breast cancer. With $100,000 dollars to go, the initiative is calling on Tar Heel and Blue Devil fans to step up with their program Blues Unite – a fundraising campaign uniting UNC and Duke fans throughout the rivalry season.
The program began February 5 – the date of the first UNC-Duke basketball game. Pam Kohl is the director of the initiative and says it will grant two half-million dollar grants for collaborative research between Duke and UNC.
“We have two world renown research centers eight miles apart at Duke and UNC who are doing phenomenal breast cancer research,” Kohl says. “We are raising funds to develop a program that will inspire, catalyze, motivate UNC and Duke researchers to work together to find treatments and cures for metastatic breast cancer.”
Kohl says she hopes the initiative will reach the one million dollar mark by March 6, the day of the second UNC-Duke basketball game.
“We thought what better way to support a collaborative research initiative at Duke and UNC than to get Duke and UNC fans involved,” Kohl says. “We think we should have a little bit of friendly rivalry as to which fan base can raise the most amount of money to help save lives.”
Through the Komen website, fans can make donations by choosing with basketball team to align with. All funds raised go towards funding collaborative grants for Duke Cancer Institute and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to work together to find cures for metastatic breast cancer.
The cause means a lot to Kohl who has been battling the disease for four years herself. She says each year 44,000 women and men die from metastatic breast cancer. Currently there is no cure, only treatment to prevent the disease from spreading further through the body. When one drug fails, patients must move to a different one.
Kohl says she hopes bringing Duke and UNC researchers together they can find cures.
“Breast cancer is smart and tenacious and does not want to give up and neither will we,” Kohl says.
While the initiative will see which fan base can raise the most money in a friendly competition, Kohl says when Duke and UNC are willing to work together everyone wins.
Photo via Todd Melet.
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