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Immunotherapy Foundation co-fundraised $4.9M for cancer research

The Immunotherapy Foundation (IF), a San Diego-based nonprofit organization working to accelerate cancer immunotherapy research and cancer prevention programs, has co-fundraised nearly $4.9 million for cancer research. The $4.9 million brings IF closer to the completion of a $6 million capital campaign to accelerate better therapies for cancer patients by funding novel cancer immunotherapy research projects. IF is projecting to reach this $6 million goal by the end of 2020.

Ralph V. Whitworth
(Courtesy)

The Immunotherapy Foundation (IF), a San Diego-based nonprofit organization working to accelerate cancer immunotherapy research and cancer prevention programs, has co-fundraised nearly $4.9 million for cancer research. The $4.9 million brings IF closer to the completion of a $6 million capital campaign to accelerate better therapies for cancer patients by funding novel cancer immunotherapy research projects. IF is projecting to reach this $6 million goal by the end of 2020.

IF currently has a $1 for $1 matching opportunity up to $500,000 to help meet this goal and has raised $125,000 through the match to date.

“We are honored to continue my late husband’s legacy by fundraising for immunotherapy cancer research and prevention programs. And even though this year had its challenges we realize our presence as a major funder in this early research space is vitally important to launching new therapies for the benefit of cancer patients everywhere,” said Immunotherapy Foundation’s Co-Founder Fernanda Whitworth.

Fernanda’s late husband Ralph V. Whitworth believed wholeheartedly in immunotherapy, so much so that he spent his remaining time on this planet helping to find a cure through philanthropy. Ralph passed away in 2016.

Because of the challenges COVID-19 presented, IF postponed its annual Rock and Roll Avalanche Concert that benefits cancer immunotherapy research and revamped its fundraising efforts to remain visible and relevant during these unprecedented times. This decision led to the launch of a COVID-19 relief effort, Help Our Cancer Heroes, which supplied nutritious meals from local, small catering companies and personal protection equipment (PPE) for frontline caregivers at UCSD Moores Cancer Center.

This year, IF also converted in-person events to ZOOM webinars with resounding success by curating a four-part Coffee and Conversation webinar series to unwrap the complex science of immunotherapy so the general population can better understand its potential to cure cancer. To top off a year of no in-person events, IF produced Drive in to Drive out Cancer, a drive-in movie event featuring Jack Black’s blockbuster hit, “School of Rock.”

“All of these COVID-19-friendly events, in conjunction with other fundraising activities, helped keep IF’s mission in the forefront of philanthropic conversations,” said Christina Jordan IF’s executive director. “In a time of unprecedented uncertainty, there is one constant – the power of philanthropy to make a difference …. and the silver lining in this pandemic.”

Since the initial gift and after Ralph’s passing, the Immunotherapy Foundation has co-fundraised nearly $4.9 million to collaborative research between UCSD and the La Jolla Institute for Immunology, which has returned over $22 million in additional grants to these institutions. Today, IF is on the precipice of completion of its first campaign: a $6 million campaign to fund cancer immunotherapy research and HPV cancer prevention programs.

For additional information on the Immunotherapy Foundation and to make a donation, visit www.joinif.org


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