Our Story Custom

startThe V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by ESPN and legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano. Coach Valvano was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 46 and passed away less than a year later. While undergoing treatment, he recognized the need to invest in young physicians and scientists to help establish their careers. Jim began to recruit his team of family and friends to lead the Foundation in his quest to eradicate the disease. Today, we continue to work toward his vision of ending cancer. The research funded is finding new medicines, developing personalized treatment plans and advancing less invasive options for detecting cancers.

Research is funded through two types of grants - our V Scholar Grant helps young scientists establish their labs, and our Translational Grant helps move science more quickly from the lab to the bedside. The grants are awarded through a highly competitive process. Our world-class Scientific Advisory Committee vets proposals from the most promising researchers at the nation’s leading medical facilities. Within each facility, researchers’ proposals compete so that only the top proposal from the top cancer centers is evaluated. The V Foundation’s grant recipients are the best of the best in the cancer research community. We are not limited by the type of research funded, nor a given facility. Rather, we’re committed to supporting research that will make the most impact in the cancer space.

The V Foundation awards 100% of direct cash donations to cancer research and related programs.  Due to generous donors, the Foundation has an endowment that covers administrative expenses.
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View Jim's ESPY speech, in which he announces the creation of the Foundation.