The 2010 Scientific Advisory Board Site Visit and a night to remember

Four of the nation’s leading hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplant specialists left Milwaukee on October 14 following their biennial visit to review MACC Fund supported research.  They left the city and the state better than they found it.  The MACC Fund’s 2010 Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) consisted of four nationally renown members. This distinguished group was headed by Susan Blaney, M.D. – Vice Chair of Research, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and Deputy Director, Texas Children’s Cancer Center who Chaired the Site Visit. Susan was joined by Crystal Mackall, M.D. – Chief, Pediatric Oncology Branch – National Institutes of Health; Stella Davies, M.D., Ph.D. – Director of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Immune Deficiency – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Russell Ware, M.D., Ph.D. – Chair, Department of Hematology and Endowed Chair in Sickle Cell Disease – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

This impressive group listened intently, asked probing questions and interacted with MACC Fund supported members of the Medical College of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin over a two day period.  They also met with the MACC Fund’s Board of Directors and were special guests at a dinner attended by the MACC Fund supported researchers and staff at the three great beneficiaries the MACC Fund proudly benefits as well as the MACC Fund’s Board of Directors and staff.

Sitting in a room at dinner on the night of October 13 surrounded by thirty brilliant and dedicated pediatric cancer and hematology scientists and clinicians was exhilarating.  My attempts to capture that that magical two-hour period we enjoyed will sadly fall short.  Suffice to say that the quality and commitment of these incredible people whom the MACC Fund is fortunate to support each day is inspirational. They ply their important trade at the Medical College of Wisconsin in the MACC Fund Research Center, at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in the MACC Fund Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center in the MACC Fund Childhood Cancer Research Wing.  Adding the talent, and expertise of the four distinguished nationally renown SAB members to this impressive mix of local talent provided a dinner and 2010 Site Visit of great proportions.  Perhaps the MACC Fund’s wonderful  Development Officer for 18 years, Colleen Moran, said it best in an email which followed the dinner by simply remarking “Lovely evening…humbling.”  Sometimes less is indeed more!      

The reality is that none of this would have happened during the 2010 SAB Site Visit without the wonderful support and commitment you, one of the MACC Fund’s legion of friends, donors, sponsors, volunteers and participants.  Each of you – like the impressive scientists and clinicians   and the fine Scientific Advisory Board – play a critical role in providing the MACC Fund’s “Gift of Hope Through Research” to children with cancer and blood disorders.  Thanks to you as members of the MACC Fund team, the $38 million which has been contributed by the MACC Fund to date has truly played on important role in helping to raise the overall cure rate for childhood cancer from 20% to 80% during the MACC Fund’s 34-year existence.  To each of you, we humbly say thank you

The statistics clearly show however, that our work is far from done.  So thank you for all you have done, and for all you will do, to support the clinicians, scientists and critical teams  at the bedside and at the laboratory bench to help the MACC Fund give a “Gift of Hope Through Research.”   

~John Cary – Executive Director

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