Is there a higher calling than curing cancer? Phil Knight posed this question in September 2013 on the night he and his wife issued an unexpected and unprecedented fundraising challenge to OHSU.
More than 10,000 donors responded. If you have been a part of the Knight Cancer Challenge campaign, you have just made history. Watch our video message to you.
Over 22 months, a trickle of donations grew into an unstoppable movement against cancer. Grade-schoolers sent shoeboxes full of coins and dollar bills earned selling crafts and recycling cans. Businesses and labor unions united for the cause, because in the fight against cancer, we’re all on the same side. The State of Oregon committed to fund buildings to house the hundreds of researchers this campaign will bring together for a single purpose. In all 50 states, donors looked to Oregon and saw promise and renewed hope. Donors dug deep to see their dollars stretched further by the Knights’ galvanizing match. Contributing $100 million, Columbia Sportswear Chair Gert Boyle got tough on cancer. This gift, the largest from an individual, was inspired like so many others by confidence in OHSU’s Dr. Brian Druker and his team to fix what is broken in cancer care today, and was given to honor a family member lost to the disease.
Together, we have raised one billion dollars to take down cancer.
Because of you, the Knight Cancer Challenge is now the largest successful fundraising challenge on record. We’re celebrating today because of what this achievement will accomplish: creation of the first grand-scale program to radically improve early detection of lethal cancers.
We are fast tracking our recruitment of 250 to 300 scientists who will take on the next challenge: meeting the biggest unmet need in cancer care. Too many patients die or have to suffer through debilitating treatments because their disease is caught too late. Dr. Druker and his team have the vision and resources to focus on this problem in a way no other organization has. The sense of urgency we have felt throughout this campaign will not cease until we have fulfilled our goal of taking down more cancers and saving more lives.
A billion dollars is fueling the way forward. Thanks to you.