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Huntsman Cancer Foundation
500 Huntsman Way,
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

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Volunteer Services
Huntsman Cancer Institute Hospital
1950 Circle of Hope, Room 1110
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
801-587-4050 (Office)
801-581-2603 (Fax)
Email: volunteerservices@hci.utah.edu

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 January 13, 2020

When the Nixon Administration declared a “War on Cancer” with the enactment of the National Cancer Act of 1971, our aspirations were high. But our understanding of the causes of cancer was just beginning.  Mary Beckerle, PhD, CEO of Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), characterizes curing cancer as the most challenging problem of our time. For the progress we have made to date, she credits a system of government support, research in the public and private sectors, and, just as important, philanthropy. We now understand that because cancer is not a single disease, there will be no magic bullet against the disease. There will not be a single vaccine that prevents or cures cancer. Rather, our arsenal against cancer today includes a vast array of medical approaches, ranging from a vaccine that can prevent some cancers altogether, to precision prevention through genetics, to immunotherapy. These are enhancements to earlier standards of care offered through radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery.

When the Jon Huntsman family committed to creating a world-class cancer institute in the foothills of Salt Lake City in 1995, the family’s aspirations, like those of the War on Cancer declared two decades earlier, were also very high. And with the benefit of knowledge gained in those intervening 20 years, our understanding of cancer was far greater. That is why basic, translational, and clinical sciences have always been embedded into HCI’s core values: The Patient First – United Effort – Excellence In All We Do. From its founding, HCI has cared for people with cancer, provided education about cancer risk and prevention, and conducted essential research that has advanced our understanding of the disease. It is unusual to have all three of these challenging efforts working harmoniously and intentionally together. And it is unprecedented to have all this happening under one roof.

Our community owes the Huntsman family and all of our donors a tremendous debt of gratitude. Thanks to your generous support and your skilled and persuasive advocacy, the urgency of our patient’s needs is given equal importance at the research institute. Scientists face cancer each day when they stand next to a patient in an elevator or when they see a family enjoying a meal at the Point or Bistro restaurants. As clinics have grown, so too has laboratory research. And as laboratory research has grown, so too have treatment options for patients. This effort has required a brilliant, almost acrobatic act of balancing resources. The unique and possibly greatest reason this has worked so far, is that we now have more than ONE MILLION supporters who care about every area of the institute in equal measure.

As 2020 begins, we all know there is much work ahead. Yesterday and today, I spent tender moments with a young couple. They have been married just six months and they are reeling after the husband was diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer two weeks ago. They are literally in the fight for his life.

So please know that we need your help. And please also know that what you do makes an enormous difference for our patients and their families.

Happy New Year! Let’s get to work.

Kind regards,

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Susan Sheehan
President and COO
Huntsman Cancer Foundation

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Unprecedented speed to meet patients’ needs:  Huntsman Cancer Institute 1999-2020