NW CUs help secure $1B for cancer research

June 29, 2015

SEATAC, Wash. (6/29/15)--By donating to the Credit Unions for Kids program, credit unions in the Northwest can say they helped raise $1 billion for the fight against cancer.

Nike co-founder Phil Knight and Dr. Brian Druker, director of the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute, announced last week that the institute reached its fundraising goal of $500 million, which triggered a $500 million matching donation by Knight and his wife, Penny (Anthem June 25).

Donations from credit unions, totaling $1.4 million, to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for the challenge helped the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute reach its mark.

“Northwest credit unions are thrilled that OHSU met the Knight Challenge, and are honored to be part of this historic campaign to end cancer as we know it,” said Troy Stang, Northwest Credit Union Association president/CEO (Anthem). “Through our decades-long support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals like Doernbecher, we have long been in the trenches against cancer. This announcement marks a turning point in that war, and we are proud to continue to fight.”

Jim Ervin, executive director of the Doernbecher Foundation, told credit union representatives recently that the Northwest credit union movement was one of the most generous donors to the Knight Challenge.

Druker’s next step is to recruit 250 to 300 scientists to work on a large-scale program to overhaul the work being done on early detection of lethal cancers.

“This gives us the opportunity to bring a team of researchers together and focus them on the issues of early detection of cancer,” said Druker on Good Morning America. “But we want to do this very differently than typical cancer research, which is a lot of individuals working on a small part of the puzzle.

“We want to bring a team of top notch researchers together and focus them as a team on solving the problem. And we think by doing that we can accelerate progress and get to solutions more quickly.”