The V Foundation Awards $1 Million Grant to Research Cancers Affecting 9/11 First Responders

The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a leading nonprofit funder of cancer research, is proud to announce it is awarding a $1 million grant to study the cancers affecting the New York City first responders who worked at Ground Zero.  This grant, which will be presented at FDNY Headquarters this morning, will fund research for the early detection of hematological cancers linked to toxic dust and debris and will launch The V Foundation’s celebration of its 20th anniversary.

“Too many of the first responders, the heroes of September 11, are now facing early and rare cancer diagnoses,” said Nick Valvano, President Emeritus of The V Foundation.  “My brother Jim would be extremely proud of this grant and for us to be awarding it in New York City, a city close to our hearts.” 

On September 11, 2001, thousands of first responders rushed to the World Trade Center.  In the weeks and months that followed, thousands more worked tirelessly day and night at the World Trade Center site.  Many are now being diagnosed with diseases related to the glass particles, asbestos, cement and other toxins that contaminated the air.  The V Foundation’s grant supports the effort to prolong lives through prediction and treatment of the resulting cancers and ultimately into prevention strategies.

“The fight against cancer is deeply personal to the FDNY because so many members of this Department have lost their lives to this terrible disease,” said Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano.  “Thanks to this generous grant by The V Foundation, the doctors and researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the National Cancer Institute will have crucial funding for their important research in the hope of discovering earlier detection of blood-related cancers and increasing survival rates, not only for our members, but for everyone.” 

The V Foundation was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary NC State basketball coach and ESPN commentator.  In its 20 years, The V Foundation has awarded more than 500 research grants to more than 100 institutions in 38 states and the District of Columbia.  The V Foundation proudly awards 100 percent of all direct donations to cancer research and related programs.

This important project spurred three of The V Foundation’s national signature events to support the critical research impacting the first responders.  The V Foundation Wine Celebration, held in Napa Valley, California, on August 4, 2012, kicked off the fundraising initiative with a weekend of wine tasting hosted by College Football Hall of Famer Lou Holtz.  Less than one month later, The 19th Annual Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic held its events to contribute to the grant.  At the end of the year, the Jimmy V New York Dinner, an event to celebrate the start of college basketball season, provided the final funding toward the $1 million goal.