The board of directors of The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) made the largest discretionary grant in the organization’s 40-year history in support of Oregon Health & Science University’s Knight Cancer Challenge to raise money for research to combat the disease. The $1 million grant to the OHSU Foundation was announced Tuesday, Nov. 19.
“Phil Knight and his wife, Penny, have challenged Oregonians and the rest of the country to take a bold stand against cancer and the OCF Board boldly answered that challenge,” said Max Williams, president and chief executive officer of OCF. “Many of OCF’s donors have been generous in their individual support of the OHSU Foundation over the years. This grant signals our intention to honor those gifts by increasing their impact.”
The Knight Cancer Challenge is a two-year fundraising campaign to leverage unprecedented resources for cancer research aimed at saving lives by developing better technologies and tests to detect cancer early, when it is most treatable. To do this requires gaining a better understanding of how cancer gains a foothold in the body at a molecular level. If OHSU can raise $500 million for cancer care and research by Dec. 31, 2015, the Knights will contribute an additional $500 million toward research to advance early cancer detection at OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute.
“The Oregon Community Foundation’s board of directors is excited to support and recognize the challenge posed by Phil and Penny Knight in the fight to cure cancer. We are confident that philanthropists not only from Oregon, but from across the country, will rise to the challenge. The results of this effort will dramatically affect cancer research around the world,” Williams said.
OHSU’s vision to make a difference in a decade by developing next-generation cancer detection takes on a huge unmet need and inspired OCF’s support. To make the greatest life-saving impact on cancer in the shortest amount of time, OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute will create earlier and more accurate tests for cancer so that it can be found and treated before it becomes deadly.
“In making their largest discretionary grant ever to the Knight Cancer Challenge and encouraging others to lend their support, OCF has demonstrated leadership and given further momentum to a campaign that has the potential to save lives around the world,” said OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A. “OCF’s board members represent all areas in Oregon. Their support signals that Oregonians are ready to take an all-out stand against cancer. We are thankful for their contribution.”