Chicken Salad Chick Foundation gift to support Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchAug. 17, 2016, 10:19 AM
Chicken Salad Chick Foundation founding board members Stacy Brown and Betty and Earlon McWhorter presented a $200,000 check to Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) to support cancer research. Among other initiatives, the Chicken Salad Chick Foundation was proud to host Music and Miracles Superfest, the first major stadium concert in Jordan-Hare’s 75-year history, held on April 23 in Auburn, Alabama.
“This was the dream and the vision of my late husband, Kevin Brown, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in Nov. 2013,” said Stacy Brown, co-founder of the Auburn-based Chicken Salad Chick restaurant and catering firm. “Thankfully, our business was successful and we were already talking about how we were going to give back. It became clear very quickly that this should be our focus.”
Along with partners Earlon and Betty McWhorter, the couple launched the Chicken Salad Chick Foundation, with a mission to help feed the hungry and fight cancer. Kevin Brown started dreaming of a giant fundraising concert headlined by Kenny Chesney, which resulted in the inaugural Music and Miracles Superfest.
Stacy Brown said the concert planning gave her husband great joy.
“Kevin was always at work, even while receiving treatment; he missed very few days until the very end. The concert planning became his purpose and his drive and his mission and it was a great thing for him,” Stacy explained.
His chemotherapy was part of the colon cancer treatment regimen recommended by VICC physician Jordan Berlin, M.D., Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, co-leader of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Program and director of the Phase I Program.
The Chicken Salad Chick Foundation Board also learned about VICC’s research program from Scott Hiebert, Ph.D., Hortense B. Ingram Professor of Cancer Research, associate director of Basic Research and of Shared Resources at VICC and newly-appointed member of the National Cancer Advisory Board.
The $200,000 research grant to VICC is the result of those interactions.
“We are honored by this gift from the Foundation in support of our precision medicine initiatives at VICC,” Hiebert said.
The clinical research effort is designed to generate new knowledge that will enable physicians and scientists to make more rapid advances in cancer prevention, detection and treatment. Vanderbilt is one of the leaders of a nationwide research effort to align promising therapies with patients with advanced cancer who are mostly likely to benefit from targeted therapies, ultimately improving the ability to provide patients with better outcomes.
While still dreaming about the Music and Miracles Superfest that he named, Kevin Brown passed away. But his wife, his friends and the Foundation are moving forward with the mission to support cancer research at VICC.
“We have been amazed with the research that is happening, with the facility, with the physicians, with the culture of Vanderbilt,” Stacy Brown said. “We felt that our needs were really taken care of and we fell in love with it. We wanted to contribute to research, not just care, but research. And we saw that Vanderbilt is somewhat the epicenter of that. So we’re so happy to present this grant to continue research and hopefully create that miracle we are all looking for.”
To learn more about the Chicken Salad Chick Foundation go to www.chickensaladchick.com/chicken-salad-chick-foundation.