As we approach the end of 2012, the Mountains of Hope Foundation wants to thank the sponsors, volunteers and friends who have supported our efforts financially and with their personal involvement to make a difference in the fight against advanced breast cancer.
We are excited to announce that since the establishment of the Foundation in 2003, we have invested more than $1.1 million in advanced breast cancer research. We have made significant investments in research projects at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, UCSF Carol S Buck Breast Cancer Center in San Francisco, University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, and at TGen Foundation in Phoenix.
The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. In recognition, this year the Foundation invested $100K in a TGen advanced breast cancer research project - Characterizing drug-resistant tumor clones within primary Luminal B Breast Cancer - headed by Dr. Heather Cunliffe and her research team. We are extremely proud to continue our partnership with TGen to advance the Foundation's mission and further TGen's world-class research.
Great strides have been made in treating breast cancer, most significantly with early detection. However, recent statistics provided by the American Cancer Society indicate:
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- In 2011, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 57,650 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
- About 2,140 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in men in 2011. A man's lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
- From 1999 to 2005, breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. decreased by about 2% per year. The decrease was seen only in women aged 50 and older. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women's Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.
- About 39,520 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2011 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1990 - especially in women under 50. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness
- For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
- Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Just under 30% of cancers in women are breast cancers.
- In 2011, there were more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the US.
- A woman's risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.
- About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
- The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).
- As of Jan. 1, 2009, there were about 2,747,459 women alive in the United States with a history of breast cancer. This includes women being treated and women who are disease-free.
Some additional features on our website we hope you will find useful:
- You can register on our home page to receive a monthly reminder by email to do a self-exam. From my own experience during my wife's 10-year ordeal monthly self exams and mammograms are essential in the early detection of breast cancer. It is a terrible mistake not to do monthly self exams and schedule annual mammograms - and no age is too early. This is how my wife detected her first lump, which was cancerous, and each recurrence thereafter. A lump can be detected through self-exam faster than any other means. In cases where lumps are not discovered through self-exams, annual mammograms are still the best course of catching the disease early.
- Also on our website you can access daily news on breast cancer advances, research, etc.
- Through our partnership with Su Vino Winery we are pleased to offer the Mountains of Hope collection of high-quality, custom-bottled wines. Su Vino Winery is donating a portion of the proceeds of every bottle purchased of this special limited release wine. More information, and to order, visit our website - www.mountainsofhopefoundation.org.
Finally, THANK YOU again to our friends, donors, sponsors, volunteers, research partners, and others in the Mountains of Hope circle of supporters who continue to make the Foundation stronger. As you consider your year-end tax planning, please remember that every dollar donated to the Foundation is a dollar directly invested in advanced breast cancer research. Your gifts to the Foundation are fully tax deductible.
Our sincere wishes for peace and joy this holiday season - and for good health and prosperity in the New Year.
Allen J. Gula, Jr.
Foundation Chairman & CEO
The Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation raised $100,000 through its 2nd annual Cookin' for a Cure at Eddie's House, and has donated the funds to a research project led by Dr. Heather Cunliffe, head of TGen's Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research Unit. The research will focus on a specific and difficult-to-treat type of cancer called primary Luminal B breast cancer - one of at least five major subtypes of breast cancer.
We feel confident that this project will enable Dr. Cunliffe and her team to determine the genetic variables that are driving this particular type of breast cancer, said Al Gula, Chairman of the Mountains of Hope Foundation. This research is especially important to patients with advanced breast cancer, who have fewer treatment options.
TGen's goal is to learn enough about the possible genomic causes of Luminal B breast cancer to initiate a clinical trial within 3-5 years. Luminal B tumors account for approximately 19 percent of the nearly 227,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer each year in the U.S.
We are entering a new era of evidence-based precision therapeutics for individual patients, Dr. Cunliffe said. The goal of a clinical trial based on this study would be to prevent disease recurrence in patients with early stage Luminal B breast cancer through the use of targeted treatments.
A major problem with this type of cancer is the tumor's resistance to conventional chemotherapy. While Luminal B tumors are fueled by estrogen, they are often not responsive to anti-estrogen drugs. The disease also has a high propensity for recurrence and often spreads to other organs in the body, which then make it very difficult to treat.
Luminal B tumors are composed of genetically distinct populations of tumor cells that are both estrogen receptor positive, and estrogen receptor negative. Researchers will test their hypothesis that the severity of genetic changes in one or both sub-populations contributes to treatment failure and poor outcome for Luminal B patients. This work will be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Michael Barrett, head of TGen's Oncogenomics Laboratory.
At the conclusion of this study, we aim to have identified genetic abnormalities that are unique to the estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative clones within Luminal B cancers, said Dr. Cunliffe.
With this most recent gift, the Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation has contributed a total of $470,000 towards Dr. Cunliffe's TGen research.
The Mountains of Hope Foundation, led by Al Gula, has brought incredible passion, commitment and energy to TGen's fight against the most aggressive breast cancers, said Michael Bassoff, President of the non-profit TGen Foundation. There is no question that women around the world will benefit from the research funded by their generous contributions.
The Women of Woodlawn Estates (WOW) celebrated their 6th anniversary by having a fundraiser to support The Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation.
The fundraiser was held in a backyard and included a silent auction, a Chinese auction and two trees filled with Lottery tickets.
Everything was donated by WOW members and merchants of Brecksville. Some of the generous Brecksville merchants included: Deli-4-Less, Leopold's, Vertical Runner, Bella Mia West, Clippity Clop, Bootlegger, Star Sports, 2182, Bella Toccare, Home Décor, Bartel's and Paul Duda Gallery.
Seventy-two people were in attendance and they raised $3200.
Annette Paul, Lynn's sister and WOW member, felt Lynn Gula was there with everyone that evening. Annette said, "I can't help wondering if there were more neighborhoods like ours, what a better world this would be."
Since the Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope inception in 2003, we've invested more than $1 million for advanced breast cancer research.
Marilyn B. Gula founded the Mountains of Hope Foundation eight years ago as a means to raise funds for advanced stage breast cancer, providing hope for women and their families who receive the dismal diagnosis. She lost her 10-year battle to breast cancer on July 26, 2006.
Marilyn's husband, co-founder and CEO of Mountains of Hope, Allen J. Gula, Jr. carried on his wife's legacy by renaming the organization in her honor and continuing her vision to “give every woman with Advanced Breast Cancer a fighting chance.”
This year alone, we've invested $75,000 at Phoenix-based TGen and $60,000 at the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Ohio. The funds were raised at the fourth annual Golf for a Cure event at the Shaker Heights Country Club in Ohio and Cookin' for a Cure at Eddie's House in Scottsdale, respectively.
In total we've hosted 10 events in Arizona, Northern California and Ohio since we began in 2003. We've invested in Advanced Breast Cancer Projects at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, UCSF in San Francisco along with TGen and University Hospitals. Al is not alone in his endeavor to find a cure for the terrible disease. He has had the overwhelming support of sponsors, donors, volunteers, committee members and friends to help achieve the organization's accomplishments.
"My heartfelt thanks to each person. The Foundation cannot accomplish its mission of investing in advanced breast cancer research without everyone's continued support. I'm extremely grateful," he said.
For the second year in the event's four-year history, Golf for a Cure teed off at Shaker Heights Country Club in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Always unpredictable in the Cleveland area, the weather injected an hour rain delay in what would have been a perfect golf day weather-wise.
Weather notwithstanding, Shaker provided a picture-perfect backdrop for the golfers. A brand new Cadillac donated by Crestmont Cadillac was driven on the course as incentive for the golfer fortunate enough to score a hole-in-one on the designated hole. However, none of the golfers succeeded, and the luxury vehicle was returned to the Crestmont showroom unclaimed.
At the end of the day, returning golfers and other guests convened in the Shaker clubhouse to enjoy music by Rich Maurer and the tropical sound of "Shades of Steel" while looking over the various raffle and auction items assembled for both silent and live bidding.
The top two foursomes were recognized and applauded:
- First place – For the second year, Scott Mawaka of Fleet Resources, took first place with a score of 63. In his foursome were Tom Tonozzi, Mark Genger and Mark Wearsch.
- Second place – Newcomers to the outing, Kevin O'Brien of Artemis Wealth Partners, and his team - Joe Fragapane, Tom Grady and Jim Pokorny - placed second with a score of 66.
In addition, special proxy awards were given for individual hole events:
- Straightest Drive – Women #1 – Maura May
- Straightest Drive – Men #2 – Bill McFadden
- Closest to the Pin #4 – Men – Scott Strano
- Shortest Drive – Women #8 – Dawn Heidinger
- Long Drive in Fairway – Women #13 – Dawn Heidinger
- Closest to the Pin – Women #16 – Nancy Griffith
- Longest Drive in Fairway – Men #17 – Ray McNeice
The generosity of many vendors and individuals allowed us to offer 14 exciting gift packages for silent auction, ranging from golf packages from local courses, to an extravagant coffee basket, Night on the Town package, Build a Bar and Cocktail tubs, a carpet, a fur scarf, and several exclusive signed sports items, appealing to a variety of tastes.
This year, Cleveland Indians Vice President, Public Relations, Bob DiBiasio, served as Master of Ceremonies for the live auction, assisted by Dan Kilday of the Cleveland Indians marketing department. The live auction included eight autographed sports memorabilia, an IPad2 basket, private tour of the Cleveland Museum of Art and a weekend get-away package.
The last order of the day was to secure Shaker Heights Country Club for the 2012 Golf for a Cure outing, which will be held on June 14, 2012. Mark your calendars!
However, most important: Now that the results are tallied, we are pleased to announce that the Foundation will be donating $60,000 to the Miracle Fund at University Hospitals in support of advanced metastatic breast cancer research!! We are deeply grateful to everyone who contributed to the success of the event.
Our thanks must first go to Ned Hyland and the Miracle Fund at University Hospitals, who joined us in sponsoring the event, and to:
Our top-tier Presenting Sponsors:
- Cliffs Natural Resources
- Jacobs Investments, Inc.
Our Birdie Sponsors:
- Ned Hyland
- John and Ann O'Neill Powers Foundation
Our Luncheon Sponsor, The Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation
Our "Friend of the Foundation" Sponsors:
- Babcock & Wasserman Co LPA
- Allen J. "Chip" Corlett
- Metallic Resources
- Weltman, Weinberg & Reis Co LPA
- Fleet Response
- Artemis Wealth Partners LLC
- Hahn, Loeser and Parks
- KeyBank NA
And to our many foursome and hole sponsors, individual golfers, auction and raffle item donors, and the friends who contributed through their presence and financial support.
Finally, a big thank you to the many volunteers who gave so many hours of their time to ensure the high quality and professionalism of the event: Event Chair, Tony Anselmo, Shannon Burke of University Hospitals, Annette Paul, Gina Fatica, Nate Taylor, Jackie Anselmo, Dolores Stansfield, Dan Kilday, Rose Mary Blessing, Barb Lazor, Pat Leonard, and Debbie Tylicki.
Allen J. Gula, Jr.
Foundation Chairman & CEO
This year's Golf for a Cure was very successful! Participants enjoyed a great golf tournament, enjoyed delicious food and the Shaker Heights Country Club course was in wonderful condition. Thanks to all who attended, including event Chair and Co-Chair Tony Anselmo and Annette Paul who, along with volunteer staff, helped the event to be a hit.
Photos from the event and the fundraising results will be available soon!
SAVE THE DATE! This event sold out FAST! So be sure next year to sign up early. Mark Thursday, June 14, 2012 on your calendar for the next Golf for a Cure event.
Many thanks to our sponsors for helping us make this event possible!
John K & Alice O'Neill Powers Foundation
Ned Hyland - Todd Associates
Allen J. Gula, Jr.
Friends of the Foundation Sponsors
Artemis Wealth Partners
Babcock & Wasserman Co. LPA
Chip Corlett & Pam Demuth - Metals, Inc.
Miceli Dairy Products
Scott Mawaka - Fleet Response
William & Nancy Griffith Metallic Resources
Lachina Publishing Services
Mary L. Synk
Victor V. Anselmo, Esq.
Bill & Ann Barry
Dave Zupan - Visium Resources
Jackie Leavenworth Seminars
Rose Mary Blessing
The Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation takes its name from its founder, Marilyn Barry Gula, and her dedication to providing "hope" to women suffering with advanced breast cancer.
Cookin' For A Cure 2011 Wrapper
The Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation Donates Additional Research Funds to University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center and TGen
CLEVELAND and PHOENIX, July 26, 2010 - The Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation continues its fight against advanced breast cancer with an additional $60,000 donation to University Hospitals (UH) Ireland Cancer Center, bringing the total donated to $110,000 during the past year. In addition, the Mountains of Hope Foundation donated $50,000 to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) based in Phoenix for a total contribution of $300,000 within the past two years.
Fn14, a driver of invasive and metastatic behavior of breast tumors: a novel diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic biomarker. In the last 10 years, breast cancer research has unveiled a new molecular classification for breast cancer which has begun to lead scientists to understand why breast tumors are so unpredictable in their response to therapy and why some breast tumors are much more aggressive than others.
For the first year in the event’s three-year history, Golf for a Cure was blessed with what weather forecasters called “a perfect day.” Though overcast in the morning, by tee time at 1:00 pm the day was sunny and pleasant with temperatures in the high 70’s. No rain in sight!
We are glad to have the generous and creative support of our Community Partners. These are small businesses, individuals and large corporations who sponsor our events, volunteer their time and resources and develop creative promotional fundraising partnerships with the Foundation.