PITTSBURGH - On Thursday at the WPXI-TV Studios, The Woiner Foundation awarded a total of $50,000 to three different groups to support melanoma and pancreatic cancer research and patient care programs.
The foundation awarded $25,000 to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute’s Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program. The award was accepted by Dr. John Kirkwood, the program’s director. The money will directly support the program’s melanoma research initiatives.
The foundation awarded $20,000 to the Alliance of Families Fighting Pancreatic Cancer. The award was accepted by Marla Wagner, Board Secretary for the AFFPC. The money will be used to support Dr. A. James Moser’s pancreatic cancer research programs at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
The foundation awarded $5,000 to the Pittsburgh Affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. The award was accepted by Media Relations Chair Tami Haslett. The money will be used to support PANCAN’s Patient and Liaison Services (PALS) program. PALS is a comprehensive and free information service for pancreatic cancer patients, their families and healthcare professionals.
The Woiner Foundation raised the money through its second annual 3-2-1 Ride event, which was attended by nearly 450 area cyclists on Oct. 12, 2014 on Pittsburgh’s North Shore. WPXI-TV is the official media partner of the 3-2-1 Ride.
The foundation saw a 40% increase in funds raised in its second year due in large part to donations received in memory of Rita Woiner. Rita was a founding member of the foundation and she passed away in April 2014 after a three and a half year battle with pancreatic cancer.
"The support we received this year and the way our foundation is growing is a true testament to my mom, and how much she was loved and how much she inspired others," said Jessica Woiner Fera, Executive Director of the Woiner Foundation. "My mom made us promise to never stop working to help other families, and working towards a cure for these terrible diseases. We'll never give up."
The Woiner Foundation is a Pittsburgh-based 501(c)(3), volunteer-run, non-profit organization founded in 2013. The organization's mission is to fight melanoma and pancreatic cancer by increasing awareness, supporting patients, survivors and families and funding important research.
Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in the United States. It is estimated that in 2014, more than 46,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 39,500 will die from the disease.
Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. and worldwide, and it’s the most common form of cancer for young adults aged 25-29. Every eight minutes someone in the U.S. will be diagnosed with melanoma but when caught early, it’s almost 100% curable.
To learn more about the Woiner Foundation visit woinerfoundation.org/.