March 8, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James), along with Urban Meyer, The Ohio State University head football coach, have announced the creation and launch of the Urban & Shelley Meyer Fund for Cancer Research.
The Meyers' new Fund will raise $2 million for an endowment to establish a chair, which will further efforts for recruiting the very best and brightest cancer research experts to The OSUCCC - James. Funds raised above the $2 million will support the new Chair.
"This is another extremely important step in moving closer to our goal of creating a cancer-free world," said Dr. Michael A. Caligiuri, director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of The James. "Cancer is complex - no two cancers are ever the same. If we want to continue finding new and better ways to prevent, detect, treat and cure it, then we need to continue adding brilliant research minds to our incredible team of cancer experts - to bring those people on board who will ultimately uncover the discoveries we need in the cancer fight."
"When you think about it," Meyer said, "recruiting in football and recruiting in cancer research are not that different. You need people who are driven, brilliant in their field and excited to get in the game - who thrive on making a difference. Those are the kinds of players we recruit for OSU, and those are the kinds of cancer experts who continue to make The OSUCCC - James the best at what they do."
The Meyers established the Fund to honor Urban Meyer's parents, Urban and Gisela Meyer, both of whom had cancer. Urban Meyer Sr. is a bladder cancer survivor, and Gisela Meyer was treated for breast cancer at OSU while her son was the assistant football coach under Earl Bruce. Coach Meyer and his sister, Dr. GiGi Meyer, still recall the expert care and compassion their family received during their mother's treatment at OSU - another impetus for the Meyers establishing the new Fund.
In addition to establishing the Urban & Shelley Meyer Fund for Cancer Research, the Meyers will be donating several sports memorabilia items from Coach Meyer's personal collection to the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, part of the Wexner Medical Center expansion, for a dedicated Gisela and Urban Meyer area within the new hospital.
"As anyone who has dealt with cancer knows, there can be a lot of time spent in waiting rooms," said Coach Meyer. "If Shelley and I are able to provide something that others might find as interesting as we have over the years, then we are profoundly honored to do so."
As part of the Fund kick-off, the Meyers were the honorary hosts of the 2013 Buckeye Cruise for Cancer last month, which raised nearly $1 million and which supported the Urban & Shelley Meyer Fund for Cancer Research.
According to Meyer, virtually everyone can be a part of making the Fund a success. "I'm always telling my players, `Go two more - two more reps, two more steps,' two more of whatever your goal is," he said. "What if we apply that concept to the new Fund? `If you planned on giving a dollar, would you be able to give two more? If you planned on volunteering for one hour, would you consider volunteering for two more?'"
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only seven centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials. The NCI recently rated Ohio State's cancer program as "exceptional," the highest rating given by NCI survey teams. As the cancer program's 228-bed adult patient-care component, The James is a "Top Hospital" as named by the Leapfrog Group and one of the top 20 cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.