At its annual statewide fall conference on Saturday, the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW presented the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation with a donation to fund cancer research for the 43rd consecutive year. With its gift of $2,000, the group has now given more than $125,000 to OMRF since 1965.
The Ladies Auxiliary has chapters in more than 80 Oklahoma Cities and towns. Its members raise funds for OMRF through bake sales, garage sales, bingo games and individual donations.
“The Ladies Auxiliary’s gifts have provided valuable support of OMRF’s efforts to fight cancer through the years,” said OMRF director of development Will Merrick, who accepted the check. “We’re honored to have them as one of our philanthropic partners.”
Scientists in OMRF’s research programs are making crucial inroads toward developing not only a deeper understanding of cancer but also new ways to diagnose and treat the deadly disease.
Rheal Towner, Ph.D., and Robert Floyd, Ph.D., have discovered a novel treatment for glioblastoma, the brain cancer that took the lives of Sen. Edward Kennedy and Oklahoma native and former New York Yankee star Bobby Murcer. Their work has shown promising results in preclinical research, and they hope to begin clinical trials in humans next year.
In another OMRF project, a research team led by Linda Thompson helped create the first genetic-based risk assessment test for breast cancer.
“Cancer is one of America’s leading killers, and helping to stop it is a key priority of OMRF,” said Merrick.
The Ladies Auxiliary counts more than 767,000 members nationwide and has chapters throughout Oklahoma, including the following cities:
- El Reno
Founded in 1914, the group consists of wives and relatives of veterans, as well as female veterans themselves. In addition to raising funds for cancer treatment and research, the Auxiliary awards scholarships through its Voice of Democracy Program and provides more than eight million hours of volunteer service in local communities.