Each year, more than 25,000 Louisianans receive a new cancer diagnosis. The Louisiana Cancer Research Center (LCRC) serves as a collaborative hub that advances cancer research, improves prevention, and accelerates innovative treatments. LCRC brings together the collective talent of more than 200 researchers from four institutions – Tulane School of Medicine, LSU Health New Orleans, Xavier University of Louisiana, and Ochsner Health – to improve cancer outcomes for Louisianans and all those touched by the disease.
With all that the Department of Louisiana Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary does to support veterans in our state, it found time to support cancer research. time to support cancer research.
For the second time, the Auxiliary made a generous donation to the Louisiana Cancer Research Center. Former Auxiliary President Wanda Farbe personally presented a check for over $3,300 to LCRC Scientific Co-directors Augusto Ocha, MD and Prescott Deininger, PhD and Chief Administrative Officer Sven Davisson.
Afterwards, Ms. Farbe discussed the importance of cancer research in Louisiana, explaining that it is a disease that touches so many veterans, including members of her own family. “We need as much research as we can because it is so devastating to families,” she said.
Dr. Ochoa reiterated the commitment of LCRC institutions LSU Health New Orleans, Tulane University School of Medicine, Xavier University of Louisiana and Ochsner Health to bring cutting-edge research to patients in Louisiana. “There is no reason why patients should have to travel out of state [for cancer treatment.]”
Dr. Deininger explained the LCRC’s unique collaborative nature that advances cancer research. “We have teams of people whose research overlaps and they can help each other. You have people looking from different aspects … to create that kind of synergy.”
Sven Davisson pointed to recent LCRC webinars on accessing cancer clinical trials in Louisiana and an update on smoking-related cancers, as examples of LCRC resources to support cancer patients and their families.
Since its establishment in 1934, the Department of Louisiana V.F.W. Auxiliary has played a vital role in helping the V.F.W. serve Louisiana’s veterans and their dependents. According to its website, they have been instrumental inworking alongside their V.F.W. counterparts at the Post level in getting the work done on all the V.F.W. programs as well as their own special VFW Auxiliary programs and projects.
Keith Clement is a builder and knows what it takes for big projects to come together. He was involved in construction of the Louisiana Cancer Research Center in New Orleans and insists “a cure to cancer will be discovered in this building.”
“Everyone is somehow affected by cancer,” Keith says. His own mother courageously fought breast cancer for seven years, before succumbing to the disease. “It was heartbreaking to watch her experience such a wide variety of side effects. When asked why she continued with chemotherapy and a clinical trial, she said she was doing it for her daughter, her granddaughters, and future generations in hopes of finding a cure.”
With tens of thousands of new diagnoses every year in Louisiana, many families share Keith’s personal connection to the ravages of cancer. He feels empowered in the fight against cancer, knowing that the work of LCRC researchers will eventually help someone with cancer.
It certainly does require a team to pursue advances that support cancer therapies. Donor support like Keith’s makes it possible.