Dec 14, 2011
Benefit for Stanford Women’s Cancer Center Garners More Than $1 Million
More than 300 community members joined ASCO Connection Editor-in-Chief and Stanford Women’s Cancer Center (SWCC) Director Jonathan Berek, MD, MMS; Stanford University President John L. Hennessy; Stanford Hospital & Clinics CEO Amir Dan Rubin; and others during the third annual Under One Umbrella benefit for SWCC. Sheryl Crow—singer/songwriter/record producer/actress—lent her star power to the event, held November 18, which helped raise more than $1 million.
The Under One Umbrella benefit was launched in 2009 by a group of community volunteers with the vision of creating a comprehensive patient care program aimed specifically at the needs of women with breast and gynecologic cancers. That fall, award-winning actress Nicole Kidman and her husband, country music star Keith Urban, hosted the inaugural luncheon with a lively combination of conversation and music (see photo from previous interview with Dr. Berek). The following year, husband-and-wife country music stars Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks performed.
Since her own diagnosis of breast cancer in 2006, Sheryl Crow has served as a passionate advocate for early diagnosis, speaking publically about cancer prevention and detection. Now cancer-free, Ms. Crow told guests her own story of survivorship: “Every time I do a meet and greet, every time I walk through an airport, every time I’m at a mall, wherever I am, someone comes up to me and says, ‘I’m a cancer survivor.’ And for me, that is so life-affirming, I can’t tell you. I have moments when I recognize myself first as a mom and second as a cancer survivor.”
Lisa Schatz, co-chair of the Under One Umbrella Steering Committee, launched the organization after her own successful treatment for uterine cancer. “It is my passion to ensure that the women in this community receive the best possible treatment and care right here in our backyard at Stanford Women’s Cancer Center.” Ms. Schatz and co-chair Lainie Garrick led an active team of 10 volunteers in conceiving and executing the annual Under One Umbrella benefits. Funds were originally directed toward opening the center, including key leadership recruitments, and funding for research and patient supportive services.
“The Stanford Women’s Cancer Center maximizes the coordination of expert care in an environment designed to address the special needs of women,” said Dr. Berek, who is also professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford. “The center promotes a partnership between clinical and research programs to ensure access to leading-edge clinical trials, drugs and other new treatments. We intend to offer women with breast, ovarian and other gynecologic cancers the best possible care and supportive services for themselves and their loved ones.”
An internationally renowned expert in ovarian cancer, Berek added that Stanford researchers are investigating new methods for early detection and prevention, a comprehensive program in genetics, vaccines and immunotherapies and studies involving cancer stem cells—the possible sources of malignant tumors.
For more information on the Under One Umbrella benefit event, visit underoneumbrella.stanford.edu.