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Fundraisers Invest For A Cure

How Roswell Park researchers are able to leverage a single fund-raised dollar into a $10 return.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Whether you're talking about the Ride for Roswell, 11 Day Power Play, or any number of fundraising efforts to battle cancer, your dollars are making a difference. 

Dr. Kunle Odunsi, Executive Director of the Center for Immunotherapy at Roswell, says every dollar raised is carefully targeted. "We have a process by which we ask for the best that as investigators at Roswell can come up with. These ideas are next-generation ideas that can really propel our ability to cure cancer. "

For example, this year they received 40 applications from researchers, hoping for funds to get their cancer-fighting projects off the ground. Five were selected to receive seed grants from the funding raised here in Western New York. Dr. Scott Abrams' study into the use of immune-targeted therapy for the treatment of breast cancer received a $100,000 grant from 11 Day Power Play funds. His approach uses the body itself as the first line of defense. 

That initial grant helps them begin their research, apply their theories, and establish their groundwork for larger studies. The bottom line is, cash raised by Western New Yorkers, says Dr. Odunsi, is turning out to be a pretty good investment. "For every dollar raised we are able to get an additional 10 dollars in grant funding."

And for the folks raising those funds, it keeps them going knowing they are making a difference, says Amy Lesakowski of the 11 Day Power Play. "For the 11 Day Power Play to be involved in such incredible research at Roswell Park, and to see the progress happening is incredible and our players, our volunteers, our sponsors, they should be very proud of what we are able to make happen here in Buffalo."

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