BETHESDA, MD, December 21, 2016 — Driven to Cure, Inc., a not-for-profit dedicated to raising awareness and funding rare kidney cancer research in children and young adults, has donated $200,000 to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). The donation will support the research of W. Marston Linehan, M.D., Chief of Urologic Surgery and the Urologic Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), who is developing novel approaches to treat multiple forms of kidney cancer.
Andrew Lee, Driven to Cure President and CEO, presents the donation to Maria C. Freire, FNIH President and Executive Director, at an event held today at NIH.
“I, along with everyone involved with Driven to Cure, am proud to make this donation to the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health,” said Andrew Lee, President and CEO of Driven to Cure, Inc. “After I was diagnosed last year at age 19 with stage 4 HLRCC kidney cancer, I came up with the idea of using my love for cars to raise awareness about rare kidney cancers. My family and I have traveled the country attending car events, raising awareness and funds for research. The car community, both nationally and internationally, supports each other and causes like Driven to Cure. We are looking forward to taking our DTC orange colored Nissan GTR to more events in 2017 to continue our efforts of raising awareness and new funding for research. Together we can find a cure.”
The donation from Driven to Cure, Inc. was made possible with support from individuals and corporate donors, including Nissan North America, Inc. and the EagleBank Foundation. BASF’s Automotive Refinish group sponsored the Driven to Cure Nissan GTR at SEMA in Las Vegas in November 2016. The company named its new BASF Glasurit paint color DTC Orange, which is the color representing kidney cancer. “Andrew is an amazing young man,” said Dan Bihlmeyer, Head of Marketing for BASF Automotive Refinish. “His spirit, determination and dedication to making a difference for others is an inspiration to all.”
Kidney cancer is among the 10 most common cancers in men and women and the rate of new cases continues to increase. Every year, nearly 63,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with kidney and renal pelvis cancers, and more than 14,000 individuals die, according to NCI.
“We are truly grateful for the generous donation from Driven to Cure, Inc. to help further the groundbreaking research of Dr. Linehan at the National Institutes of Health,” said FNIH President and Executive Director Maria C. Freire, Ph.D. “For 20 years, the FNIH has enabled our donors to fund the latest cutting-edge research at the NIH for diseases like kidney cancer. By working together across the public and private sectors we can uncover effective therapies and innovative treatments for these devastating diseases.”
Dr. Linehan pioneered the study of the genetic basis of kidney cancer by identifying genes that make up the most common forms of the disease. This included the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene (one of the early human cancer genes identified), which causes some patients to develop tumors in the kidneys and other organs. Dr. Linehan’s recent research targeting the metabolic basis of kidney cancer has resulted in the regression of metastatic cancer in patients with type 1 and type 2 papillary kidney cancer. This work helped develop new therapeutic approaches for kidney cancers based on an understanding of the molecular pathway of specific cancer genes.
“Over the past 30 years our approach has been to identify the genes that cause this disease and develop novel therapeutic approaches targeting these kidney cancer gene pathways. We have made a lot of progress, thanks to the patients and their families that have worked with us over the years; however, we have a long way to go to see the development of effective forms of therapy for all patients with this disease,” said Dr. Linehan. “We are very optimistic about the progress that has been made and are hopeful that this support will significantly help in the effort to develop better forms of management and prevention for the patients that we all care about affected with this disease.”
About Driven to Cure, Inc.
Driven to Cure’s mission is to bring awareness and provide funding for the research of rare kidney cancers in children and young adults. Driven to Cure, Inc. was founded in March of 2016 as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) by Andrew Lee after he was diagnosed at age 19 with a rare form of kidney cancer known as HLRCC. After his diagnoses, Andrew was given six months to a year to survive. Andrew has been a volunteer and patient in an HLRCC trial study at NIH since June of 2015. Andrew created Driven to Cure to join two of his biggest passions, cars and cancer, and to serve something far greater than himself. Driven to Cure’s goal is to bring awareness and additional funding for rare kidney cancer diseases, including the development of the next generation of drugs to help others. In just over 6 months Driven to Cure raised more than $200,000. The Driven to Cure team and Andrew hope to double this goal in 2017. To learn more about Driven to Cure, please visit their website at www.driventocure.org where donations can also be made.
About the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health creates and manages alliances with public and private institutions in support of the mission of the NIH, the world’s premier medical research agency. The Foundation, also known as the FNIH, works with its partners to accelerate biomedical research and strategies against diseases and health concerns in the United States and across the globe. The FNIH organizes and administers research projects; supports education and training of new researchers; organizes educational events and symposia; and administers a series of funds supporting a wide range of health issues. Established by Congress in 1990, the FNIH is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For additional information about the FNIH, please visit fnih.org.