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News Archive - Progress Newsletter Spring 2001 Online

VFW Ladies Auxiliary Generously Supports U-M Colon Cancer Research

"We have a number of world-renowned clinicians and basic researchers who are involved in colon cancer research." -- Dr. Alfred Chang

Shirley Feirer put more than 42,000 miles on her new van last year. But it was worth it - she and her team raised $215,000 for cancer research, $43,100 of which the U-M Cancer Center recently received for colon cancer research. Mrs. Feirer served as last year's state president for the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and she and her friend Rose Gallagher spent the year traveling through Michigan visiting VA hospitals and homes and raising money by selling special angel pins.

Each state's Ladies Auxiliary has a program to raise money for cancer research. Led by Marian Reeve, last year's cancer chairperson in Michigan, the ladies raised enough money through VFW conventions, auctions, raffles and special events to get back 20 percent of their total sales from National Headquarters to give to a local research facility of the president's choice.

Mrs. Feirer selected colon cancer research because her mother, at age 97, is a colon cancer survivor. She selected the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center to receive the funds because, "U-M has always been top on my list. You're on the cutting edge. If anyone is doing colon cancer research, it's U-M," said Mrs. Feirer. "U-M is also where my two sons were born in the 1950s!"

Alfred Chang, M.D., accepted the check saying he envisions organizing a special retreat to identify innovative new areas to which this funding can be applied. "We have a number of world-renowned clinicians and basic researchers who are involved in colon cancer research. In particular, our genetics program is looking at how genes become altered, and how we can take that information and apply it to prevention and new treatments," explained Dr. Chang, who leads the U-M's Gastrointestinal Oncology program, one of only a few such programs in the nation.


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