Endowment Ensures Hope for Breast Cancer Research and Care

February 20, 2024
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Gale Kirkwood, Rays of Hope Founder Lucy Giuggio-Carvalho, Dr. Grace Makari-Judson, and Kathy Tobin at a Rays of Hope Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer.

Over the last 30 years, Rays of Hope Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer has funded local research, community education and support programs for survivors. It’s an important legacy. However, we now appreciate that the uncertainty of our world puts the future of this mission in jeopardy. It’s important that hope never be cancelled. We need to ensure that this mission has stable funding by investing in the future.

Supporting the Fight Against Breast Cancer

To that end the Rays of Hope Endowment has been created at Baystate Health Foundation. Endowed funds  are investment funds established to last forever. Each year, the principle grows and a portion of the fund’s value is used to support its mission. In this case, the endowment will provide a steady influx of money to support Rays of Hope for local research and care for breast cancer survivors.

“Creating the Rays of Hope Endowment means we are securing the future of our mission and ensuring that the hope we provide to thousands in western Massachusetts continues,” shared Dr. Grace Makari-Judson, Co-director, Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research and former Medical Director, D’Amour Center for Cancer Care and Chair, Baystate Health Breast Network. “Just as we needed our community’s support more than 30 years ago, we need it today. The pandemic showed us that we need to be prepared for challenges that may arise, and we want to be able to embrace the opportunities ahead of us. This endowed fund will allow us to do that.”

While Dr. Makari-Judson retired from clinical practice this spring, she will continue to conduct breast cancer research and her involvement with Rays of Hope. She reflects on the role Rays of Hope has played in cancer care locally.

“I could have never imagined how much Rays of Hope would have influenced breast cancer care in western Massachusetts and contributed to fast tracking advances to our community. I am pleased to point out that we have fulfilled much of our mission with improved diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer over the last 30 years...and especially our understanding of it, thanks in part to the research Rays of Hope has enabled us to do here locally,” added Dr. Makari-Judson.

Donate to Help Local Care

Donations of any amount can contribute to this important work. Gifts today can help to support the next generation with funding for research, care, and education. All proceeds from your gift to the Rays of Hope Endowment will remain local.

“This Endowment will help sustain the future of Rays of Hope,” shared Rays of Hope Co-founder Gale Kirkwood. “When the event first began, we had no idea it was going to grow and evolve the way it has. The research and resources funded by this event have helped thousands of people living in western Massachusetts and we want to sustain that. The pandemic really emphasized the importance of having a strong financial foundation, especially during challenging times, because people rely on these resources during their cancer journeys. The Rays of Hope Endowment helps us ensure we are there for survivors when they need it most.”

Learn more about the Rays of Hope Endowment and how you can donate today.

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