November 4, 2005

Campaign’s fund-raising success crucial in fight against cancer

Featured Image

At the “Imagine a World Without Cancer” campaign celebration were, from left, Harry Jacobson, M.D., Orrin Ingram, Ray DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., and Hal Moses, M.D.
photo by Peyton Hoge

Campaign’s fund-raising success crucial in fight against cancer

Ray DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., with Frances Preston, president of BMI. 
photo by Peyton Hoge

Ray DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., with Frances Preston, president of BMI.
photo by Peyton Hoge

Kathy and Matt Dozier hit the dance floor at the campaign celebration. Kathy Dozier was treated at the <a href=''>Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center</a>.
photo by Peyton Hoge

Kathy and Matt Dozier hit the dance floor at the campaign celebration. Kathy Dozier was treated at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
photo by Peyton Hoge

The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center celebrated the official end of the “Imagine a World Without Cancer” Campaign, having raised nearly $180 million for the fight against cancer in Middle Tennessee.

Achievements since the campaign began in 1999 include:

• The Cancer Center was enhanced and approximately 20,000 cancer patients turned to Vanderbilt for their care. They came from every county in Tennessee, 46 different states and 10 foreign countries.

• More than 100 of the best cancer researchers and caregivers were recruited through the campaign efforts.

• New departments and programs were created in radiation oncology, cancer biology, biostatistics, thoracic surgery, family cancer risk assessment and counseling and pain and symptom management.

• Vanderbilt-Ingram became the only center in the state to earn the highest distinction from the National Cancer Institute with designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Raymond DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., director of Vanderbilt-Ingram, said his strategic plan for the future will allow Vanderbilt to lead the way in offering the latest in cancer science and patient care.

“It calls for the development of new imaging techniques that allow us to see hidden cancers or catch tiny cells that might escape during cancer surgery, and it invests resources in molecular fingerprinting, or advancing our understanding of how tumors will behave in a specific individual based on that person's unique molecular makeup. It investigates nanotechnologies that create tiny devices to patrol blood vessels to seek and destroy cancer cells.” said DuBois. “My plan steps up our already strong programs in cancer prevention and targeted therapies, and presents concrete ideas on how to improve clinical trials. And, it calls for us to explore new and innovative ways to improve the experiences of our patients so that we can attend to their full range of physical and emotional needs,” he added.

Orrin Ingram, CEO of Ingram Industries and chair of Vanderbilt-Ingram's Board of Overseers, led the efforts of the Imagine Campaign and announced at a recent party celebrating the campaign's success that he will keep his role in the next leg of the fund-raising efforts.

“We are currently laying the necessary groundwork for a new campaign, and once again, I will be serving as chair. This campaign will build from the momentum of the Imagine Campaign,” said Ingram.

Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs Harry Jacobson, M.D., thanked Ingram for his commitment to the Campaign and said the Cancer Center has the full support of the Medical Center.

“The Cancer Center is truly one of our stellar programs, and I like to say it is the crown jewel of our Medical Center,” said Jacobson.

He added that his own level of personal commitment has been impacted, with cancer touching closer to his own home for the first time.

“This year my brother, who is two years older than I am, was diagnosed with cancer, and a particularly bad kind of cancer. The first thing I did after he called me was to bring him to Vanderbilt,” shared Jacobson. “I pledge to all of you that my personal support is going to back up this phenomenal effort that we have to make a difference.”

Harold Moses, M.D., director emeritus of Vanderbilt-Ingram also thanked Ingram for his commitment to the cause.

“We had set a campaign goal of $100 million. Orrin agreed to chair the campaign and announced that his family would provide the $56 million necessary to fully fund phase one,” said Moses. He added that the support of all of the donors will have a long-lasting impact on cancer patients.

“I look forward to seeing the life-changing results that this campaign will have on the people who need us the most — those who hear the words 'you have cancer,' and then are told 'there is hope,' because of the strengths of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and the investment that all of you have made,” said Moses.

The celebration wrapped with a special note from Matt Dozier, whose wife, Kathy, was treated for breast cancer at Vanderbilt-Ingram. He said he was asked to speak about what Vanderbilt means to him or what the Cancer Center has given him.

“My wife,” he said simply. “It's not the location, it's not the place — it's the people. It's my wife. That is what Vanderbilt means to me,” Dozier said.