For television producer Noreen Fraser, a survivor of stage IV breast cancer since 2001, what began as a passion project — raising money and awareness to advance women’s cancer research — evolved into one of the most far-reaching and successful fundraising campaigns in the history of philanthropy. Fraser co-founded and co-produced Stand Up to Cancer, the well-known television broadcast and online initiative. She also established and oversaw the Noreen Fraser Foundation, which, through gifts and grants of more than $2 million, has directly supported the innovative breast and ovarian cancer research of UCLA’s Dr. John Glaspy (MD ’79, RES ’82, FEL ’83), Sanders Chair in Cancer Research; and Dr. Dennis Slamon (FEL ’82), Bowyer Professor of Medical Oncology.
“Early-discovery cancer research is both fragile, because it is difficult and under-resourced, and incredibly powerful, because it eventually — inevitably — leads to the knowledge that ensures meaningful progress,” said Dr. Glaspy. By funding early work that led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the drug Ibrance, Dr. Glaspy noted, “the Noreen Fraser Foundation has an established track record of supporting research that translated into important progress in the treatment of the most common form of breast cancer.”
This year, in order to accelerate her commitment to advancing research, Fraser closed the doors of the Noreen Fraser Foundation and directed all of the foundation’s assets to UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) to establish The Noreen Fraser Fund for Women’s Cancer Research, a current-expenditure fund under the direction of Dr. Glaspy.
“The JCCC has the clout and smarts to use the organization’s funds to truly make a difference in extending the lives of women who are living with cancer,” Fraser said. The Noreen Fraser Foundation’s website now invites supporters to continue the foundation’s mission by contributing directly to the Fraser Fund at UCLA.
Fraser’s influence will be felt daily by scientists working in The Noreen Fraser Foundation Cancer Research Laboratory at UCLA’s Translational Oncology Research Laboratories, the heart of Drs. Glaspy and Slamon’s research enterprise. Never one to lose sight of the human side of illness, Fraser also has named a bench at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Located in a quiet garden setting, this special spot will provide comfort to patients and families experiencing their own medical challenges, reminding all who pause there that they are never alone on their journey.
For more information, contact Margaret Steele at: (310) 794-5244