$50 million MACC Fund milestone for research support

Group’s June research contributions take total donated since 1976 to over $50 million

June 30, 2014 College News - The MACC Fund, Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc., will contribute $1.2 million on June 30 to its three beneficiaries, the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center. These research contributions will take the total of the MACC Fund’s contributions since its inception in 1976 to over $50 million.

The MACC Fund began on the retirement night of Jon McGlocklin from the Milwaukee Bucks. McGlocklin, MACC Fund President and Co-Founder, said “I have been asked many times if I could see what the MACC Fund would accomplish over the years and did I realize the impact it would have on the lives of children and their families. I could only hope that someday we would have given $50 million in the fight against childhood cancer and blood disorders helping cure rates to steadily increase for our children. Now we must continue to fight until we win the war.”

The overall cure rate for childhood cancer has risen from 20% to 80% during the 37-year history of the MACC Fund.  The final 20% remains the goal while also recognizing that even children in the 80% category can have “late effect” issues which require more research.

Eddie Doucette was the original “radio voice of the Milwaukee Bucks.” He is the MACC Fund’s Honorary Vice President and Co-Founder. His son Brett’s battle with leukemia as a toddler served as the impetus for the creation of the MACC Fund. Brett, an early MACC Fund “success story,” recently turned 41. Eddie Doucette noted, “If someone would have suggested in 1976 that someday we would be able to contribute $50 million dollars specifically earmarked for research to eradicate pediatric cancers, I would have thought it unfathomable. Back then, the cure rate was 20%, today it's over 80%. What a tremendous testimony this is to the way people in this region have supported the MACC Fund mission through the years. To all who have made this milestone achievement possible by giving their dimes and dollars, my sincere, heartfelt thank you."

MACC Fund supported scientific research is conducted in the six-story MACC Fund Research Center of the Medical College of Wisconsin and in the 14,000 square foot MACC Fund Childhood Cancer Research Wing of the Wisconsin Interdisciplinary Medical Research Center at the University of Wisconsin.  Translational, clinical based research is conducted in the MACC Fund Center of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Bill Steinberg, the Chairman of the MACC Fund’s Board of Directors since 2006, has been on the Board throughout most of its existence.  He observed: “We have never had the chance to rethink our mission – from the beginning this has been about life for kids.   However we imagined what was possible, what’s not to be missed is the impact on the kids and their families whose lives have been touched by this work.  MACC Fund donors, sponsors, volunteers, board and staff have achieved a lasting endurance beyond any of us with this milestone.  $50 million raised and donated since 1976 has funded the work of our partners in research, education, treatment and care who accept the risk that goes with it every day  – making dreams come true for some and sadly, losing others who didn’t have time to wait.  That’s why we keep doing this work.”

MACC Fund supported research in Wisconsin impacts the treatment and care of children battling cancer and blood disorders like aplastic anemia and sickle cell disease throughout the state, the nation and the world.  The MACC Fund Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) conducts biennial site visits to review the research commitments.  Dr. Crystal Mackall chaired the most recent 2013 SAB site visit. She is the Chief of the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, the top federal officer for pediatric cancer research.  Her report to the MACC Fund’s Board of Directors following the 2013 Site Visit noted that “the MACC Fund is among the crème de la crème of philanthropic groups focused on childhood cancer.” She completed her report with “I look forward to watching continued research excellence emanating from Wisconsin as a result of your hard work and stewardship.” 

Please visit www.maccfund.org for more information.

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