The millions of dollars in private donations flowing into the Kansas University Cancer Center are a strong endorsement of the center’s efforts to gain National Cancer Institute designation.
This week, KU announced an additional $4 million in private donations, bringing the total for private gifts to $50 million since 2009. Officials hope to raise about $11 million more to aid with faculty recruitment and other expenses. The fundraising goal is one aspect of presenting a strong application to the NCI.
Tom and Teresa Walsh of Leawood and the Walsh Family Foundation donated $2 million to the effort. The Walshes said that personal experiences with cancer among family and friends motivated them to donate the funds in hope of saving lives. Another $2 million was donated by two Kansas City foundations, the Victor E. and Caroline E. Schutte Foundation and the John W. and Effie E. Speas Memorial Fund. David Frantze, co-trustee for the Schutte Foundation, said the group was impressed by the work being done at KU and the unique opportunity of gaining NCI status for the Kansas City center.
The gifts not only reflect a desire to fight a killer disease, they represent a vote of confidence for the KU leadership and staff and the work they are doing. Private financial support is a critical part of the KU Cancer Center effort. The center and the state should be grateful for the generous donations that are boosting the center’s cancer research and treatment mission.