New fund for prostate cancer research created by Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong
A significant donation raised by the first “Bowling for the Battle” fundraiser in Austin led to the creation of a research fund at The Hormel Institute specifically for prostate cancer research.
On Friday, organizers of “Bowling for the Battle” – Tom Gillard, Jim Benson, Pat Andreas and Laura Maschka (all from Farmers Insurance) – presented a check for $26,500 in support of prostate cancer research to The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota. The donation included a $5,000 matching gift by Reichel Foods in Rochester for the March 7 event at Austin’s Echo Lanes bowling alley.
It was the 4th annual bowling event for a cause with this year’s event directed for the first time at raising prevention awareness and funds for prostate cancer research.
“I have been dealing with prostate cancer for 4 ½ years,” Gillard said, “so after talking with our planning group, we decided to give the funds to The Hormel Institute for prostate cancer research. The support we received was overwhelming.”
“Bowling for the Battle” drew 128 bowlers along with numerous others, he said.
This gift will be the first contribution to a new fund created by The Hormel Institute’s Executive Director Dr. Zigang Dong to specifically support research into preventing and controlling prostate cancer – the most-common form of cancer diagnosed in American men, excluding non-melanoma skin cancers. Nearly half of The Hormel Institute’s 14 cancer research sections have projects ongoing related to prostate cancer.
The new fund is similar to the special fund created at The Hormel Institute for researching breast cancer, the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States after non-melanoma skin cancers. Dr. Zigang Dong said he appreciates the community’s great support of The Hormel Institute.
“This is a greatly appreciated and important gift that we will maximize through a growing fund,” Dong said. “Like the breast cancer research fund, once donations reach a certain level, the fund will be used for seed grants for prostate cancer research projects selected by an outside peer panel as well as for new technology to support this work.”
Donors giving to The Hormel Institute may now designate a gift to support general cancer research or direct donations to either the prostate cancer or breast cancer research fund. As with any donation made to The Hormel Institute, 100 percent of each gift directly funds cancer research.
About one in six men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in men after lung cancer. In the United States, an estimated 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in 2014 and claimed the lives of about 29,480 men, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Dong, whose “Cellular and Molecular Biology” research section is one of the Institute’s labs working on prostate cancer, said that with prostate cancer affecting millions of men and their families around the world, better answers are needed to prevent and treat the disease as well as screen for it more effectively.
“Research is the only answer for making that kind of progress,” Dong said, “and this exceptional community support for our prostate cancer research accelerates those efforts.”