On January 21, 2020, Bruce Lee, co-founder and CEO of the nonprofit Driven to Cure, and the Lee family presented the UCLA Health Kidney Cancer Program with a check for $102,483.
The gift will benefit physician-researcher Dr. Brian Shuch (RES ’10), associate professor of urology, director of the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology Kidney Cancer Program and Henry Alvin and Carrie L. Meinhardt Chair for Kidney Cancer Research in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The contribution also will facilitate a collaboration between the cancer-research labs at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (of which Dr. Shuch is a member) in disciplines such as tumor metabolism, molecular biology, cancer genomics and population health.
Driven to Cure was founded in 2015 by then-19-year-old Andrew Lee, who sought to combine his two biggest passions: cars and cancer awareness. Andrew Lee was diagnosed with late-stage kidney cancer after his first year of college. The rare form of the disease, known as hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell (HLRCC) is caused by a mutation in the fumarate hydratase (FH) gene, which makes an enzyme that is a fundamental component of how cells use oxygen to metabolize sugar to generate energy. Little was known about the condition, and there were no treatments.
To help search for a cure, Andrew Lee, along with his family, decided he would undergo seven different cancer-treatment trials to extend his life. Dr. Shuch, whose research focuses on tumors with mutations in the FH gene, developed a strong relationship with Lee and his father Bruce as Andrew underwent the treatment regimens in various trials at academic centers. Andrew Lee lost his battle with cancer on Easter Sunday, 2019.
Dedicated to advocacy and funding for research on rare genetic forms of kidney cancer, Driven to Cure has raised more than $600,000 since its inception and has become recognized as a fountain of information for those who suffer from the rare disease. The UCLA Kidney Cancer Program is known as a center of excellence on the West Coast for its expertise in diagnosing, treating and researching rare genetic kidney cancers such as HLRCC.
For more information, contact Heidi J. Saravia at: 310-206-4565