In June 2019, I plan to run in my 11th Maryland Half Marathon to support the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. As you may know, I try to do this as a way to honor the many patients and families who I have had the privilege to know and help care for during my last 21 years as a member of the Cancer Center faculty. In reality, it is they who have accepted and completed the most challenging courses (of treatment, transplant, recovery) - often uphill, and in the "rain, sleet, and snow".
Again this year I will plan to run a 13.1 mile course of my own since I will not be able to participate in the scheduled race due to a conflict with my Sabbath observance. This year however I will be “joining” TEAM BMT which is composed of many of our remarkable and dedicated Blood and Marrow Transplant nurses.
As before, your generous support of my participation will go toward strengthening the patient care programs and cutting-edge research of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) - designated Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. In recent years we saw remarkable advances in the treatment of blood cancers including the first demonstration that genetic modification of T-cells / immune cells taken from patients with very advanced and resistant forms of blood cancers could result in complete and durable remissions. Thanks in part to your support over the last 9 years, the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center has been at the forefront of this exciting work.
In addition, thanks to philanthropic gifts from the grateful families of our patients, we are pleased to announce that we are nearing completion of a new laboratory (called a "GMP" lab) to support the production of immune cells, stem cells and vaccines for the treatment of cancer and degenerative diseases. Your gift will also help to support the further development and operation of this facility. Just this year, we also became one of the select centers in the US to be qualified to offer personalized “CAR-T” cellular immunotherapy to patients with aggressive lymphoma and the first in the Maryland-Delaware-Virginia region.
I have no doubt that we are on the cusp of other important discoveries and developments in this field of "cellular immunotherapy" which will have wide-ranging impact on the treatment of many forms of cancer. Thanks again for your ongoing support of our mission.
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