The McNichol Family, from left to right: Joseph, Nancy, Katie, Patrick,Jared Ingersoll, Charlie Ingersoll, and Leigh Ann Ingersoll.
“I got involved with THON a little late in my college career, and felt that I could have done more,” Patrick said. “The summer after graduation, a few friends and I started a fundraiser down the shore in Avalon, NJ called War on the Shore.”
War on the Shore, which supports The Four Diamonds Fund, just held its 10th annual event—and has successfully raised over $250,000 since 2004.
Capitalizing on their common goal of building a strong philanthropic network in support of cancer research and care the group, consisting of Vice President Erik T. Christian, Secretary James D. Krugh, and Treasurer Corey M. Talone, started the Elpis Foundation. Named after the Greek goddess of hope who was the last deity to be released from Pandora’s Box, Elpis personifies the promise of a world without despair
And that is the Elpis Foundation’s intention: to build a community that inspires hope, raises awareness, and offers unwavering emotional and financial support for cancer research, treatments, and care.
“War on the Shore expanded into other events, golf outings and bowling tournaments that support different cancer research,” Patrick said. “This isn’t our day job—we keep Elpis going in our free time, and are motivated by our shared vision of world without cancer.”
One Father’s Fight Inspires a New Era of HopeBut in September 2011, Patrick’s connection to cancer became deeply personal. His father, Joseph F. McNichol, was diagnosed with Stage IV, non-small cell lung cancer— sadly losing his battle only a year later, in July 2012.
The McNichol Family
The Elpis Foundation wants to change that – and in February 2013 held its inaugural JFM Memorial Gala to honor his father’s life, the treatment he received at Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania by Charles B. Simone II, MD, and to inspire hope.
The Elpis Foundation pledged $200,000 to the Abramson Cancer Center, establishing the Joseph F. McNichol (JFM) Lung Cancer Research Fund to support the advancement of lung cancer research and awareness through Penn’s Interdisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program, specifically as it relates to early detection and screening, treatment, and advances in radiation oncology.
Why Penn MedicinePenn Medicine’s Thoracic Oncology Program is one of the few centers in the world that is able to offer a full spectrum of personalized treatment options that aren’t available everyone else.
“We are at the cutting edge technology for radiation therapy, revolutionary discoveries in the lab, translational research in the clinic, surgical options, and world-class pulmonologists,” says Dr. Simone, Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology who specializes in lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other thoracic malignancies. “We are uniquely able to handle encompassing expertise across the care modalities.”
Early detection is critical, and to this end, the JFM Fund supports research of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) — the cells shed from primary tumors or their metastases that circulate in the bloodstream. CTCs hold information researchers at the Abramson Cancer Center believe could be a lynchpin to a better understanding of cancer diagnosis, metastases, and recurrence. Unlocking the potential within CTCs opens up the possibility for a “liquid biopsy,” a non-invasive blood test that will provide live information about the patient’s disease status, and a roadmap to personalized targeted cancer therapies.
“Beyond the amazing, compassionate care my father received at the Abramson Cancer Center, the more we learned about the disease during his treatment, the more we knew this was the place for the Elpis Foundation to direct much needed resources to lung cancer research and care,” said Mr. McNichol.
To make a gift to lung cancer research, click here or contact Natalie Reznik at firstname.lastname@example.org or (215) 746-3009.