“I’m sorry, but you have breast cancer.”
That short sentence changed my life forever. It will take a bit longer to tell you how, but I hope you’ll indulge me since this is so important.
After hearing those momentous words, I was fortunate to receive a relatively new medication for my type of breast cancer and survived a stage 3 diagnosis. I am certain that without it, my outcome would have been very different. While I was being infused with this new, life-saving medication, I often wondered, “I am so lucky! How did this medication get to me?”
I didn’t know that answer until I learned of the CANCER FUND.
After my diagnosis and treatment, I become a breast cancer activist and attended a CANCER FUND event here in Phoenix in 2019. I learned that new cancer innovations are developed in research labs, funded by investors, and after years of clinical trials, approved and made available to patients. That was the path for the medication that saved my life.
I was always told that fighting cancer was ALL about investing in research, so I gave money to the organizations that supported cancer research. I walked the walks, ran the runs, opened my checkbook to all the organizations that promised a better future for breast cancer patients like me. It felt like I was doing something important. And don’t get me wrong – support for research is really important.
But I didn’t know about one of the biggest challenges facing new cancer innovations, including therapies like the one I received. I learned that the innovations coming from the research I supported still have a long path to travel before reaching patients to save lives. And most institutional research labs have no real plan to get their breakthroughs to patients. They do the research and leave that to innovators – scientists, doctors, and entrepreneurs. Those people who take the lab developments and run the gauntlet of getting them to patients.
I learned that without investment, those breakthrough lab innovations may stall out, and eventually, many end up collecting dust on a lab shelf.
Innovators need investors to bridge what they call the “chasm of death” – the long and expensive path between the lab and the patient. Investing in innovations early is a critical part of the process that we don’t see, yet many large investors avoid the early stages since the risk of failure is high. They would rather wait until the innovation is “de-risked” before they invest. But early investment is a critical part of moving innovations from the lab to end-users such as doctors and patients like me.
CANCER FUND helps solve that early-stage challenge by giving everyday people like you and me a way to invest in cancer innovators.
Early this year, I was excited to write my first check investing in CANCER FUND I.
CANCER FUND I invests my dollars in early-stage companies like Reglagene (who gave us an update last week). My investment helped Reglagene complete their successful animal trials, which are opening the door to discussions with the FDA and the process of getting their medicines to patients. I hope this will be the first of many investment checks I’ll get to write to CANCER FUND I and similar investment funds they may launch in the future.
With CANCER FUND, I don’t DONATE money – I INVEST IT in the future. Unlike the money I donate, I may even get a financial return on the money I invest. And, since CANCER FUND shares what they are doing and invites my feedback, I know exactly where my money is going.
THAT’S why I invest in CANCER FUND I!