The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity founded by ESPN and Jim Valvano, announced Monday a collaboration with the Kansas City Chiefs and The University of Kansas Health System to support critical cancer research. This marks the first time the V Foundation has joined forces with an NFL team to advance its goal of achieving victory over cancer.
"Sports is in the blood of the V Foundation," said Susan Braun, CEO of the V Foundation. "It is terrific to join forces with the Chiefs, The University of Kansas Health System and ESPN to defeat a common enemy—cancer. Research is the avenue, and together, we'll make it happen."
The Chiefs and Hunt Family Foundation are contributing $50,000 in the month of October and The University of Kansas Cancer Center will raise $50,000; that $100,000 will be matched by the V Foundation for a junior investigator grant to be awarded to The University of Kansas Cancer Center. The partnership will bring V Foundation resources to the Kansas City area as it funds an emerging researcher in the Chiefs' community.
"The V Foundation is a premier cancer-focused charity that is a leader in research funding nationwide. We are thrilled to be in a position to help raise this grant money that supports the work that The University of Kansas Cancer Center is doing right here in Kansas City," Kansas City Chiefs President Mark Donovan said.
To highlight the collaboration, ESPN's Monday Night Football commentator team, comprised of analyst Jon Gruden, play-by-play commentator Sean McDonough and sideline reporter Lisa Salters, visited The University of Kansas Hospital to meet with cancer patients on Saturday, September 30. Footage from that visit aired Monday, October 2 during ESPN's Monday Night Football matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Washington Redskins to kick-off the collaboration to a national cable television audience.
"By funding research at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, we are fostering new therapies to fight cancer, providing new hope for patients, and supporting the Kansas City community as well as this entire region," said Bob Page, president and chief executive officer of The University of Kansas Health System.
The Chiefs initiative will fund a V Foundation junior investigator grant to support a young tenure-track researcher early in her/his career by funding projects that are either laboratory-based fundamental research or translational research.
During October, the V Foundation's blog, In Their Own Words, will feature content related to the Cancer Center's investigator grant and the collaboration between the V Foundation, the Kansas City Chiefs, The University of Kansas Health System and ESPN.
"The Kansas City Chiefs, The University of Kansas Health Systems and the V Foundation have formed a powerful alliance," said John Skipper, President, ESPN, Inc.; Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks; and member of the V Foundation Board of Directors. "We applaud their commitment to helping people in their community battle this dreadful disease."
Follow the V Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see more from the collaboration. For more information about the V Foundation, its grant program, or to donate, please visit www.jimmyv.org.
About the V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, the Foundation has funded more than $170 million in cancer research grants nationwide. The V Foundation awards 100 percent of direct donations to cancer research and programs. The V Foundation's endowment covers administrative expenses. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Board. For more information on the V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.
ESPN, the world's leading sports entertainment company, features more than 50 assets – eight U.S. television networks, ESPN International, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, and more. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc. (an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company) and 20 percent by Hearst.
About the Kansas City Chiefs and Hunt Family Foundation
Founded as the Dallas Texans in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL) by sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, the franchise moved to Kansas City in 1963 and became known as the Kansas City Chiefs. The Hunt Family Foundation, formerly the Chiefs Children's Fund, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established by the Hunt family in 1983 to support charitable agencies in the greater Kansas City community. Through philanthropy and community programming, the Foundation provides vital assistance to more than 125 area charities each year and works to give back to a community that has given so much to the Kansas City Chiefs organization for more than 50 years. For more information about the Chiefs and the Hunt Family Foundation, please visit www.chiefs.com.
About The University of Kansas Cancer Center The University of Kansas Cancer Center is transforming cancer research and clinical care by linking an innovative approach to drug discovery, delivery and development to a nationally-accredited patient care program. Our consortium center includes includes cancer research and health care professionals associated with the University of Kansas Medical Center and The University of Kansas Health System; the University of Kansas, Lawrence; The Stowers Institute for Medical Research; Children's Mercy; and in partnership with members of the Midwest Cancer Alliance.