Over the past six years, Marge and her husband Chuck, who retired from Penn two years ago, have raised $175,000 to support blood cancer research. This year, Marge will once again be participating in the Philadelphia Marathon in an effort to raise funds for the Abramson Cancer Center to help in their continued efforts to find a cure.
There has never been a more promising time for innovative new therapies to fight cancer. Recently, the FDA approved the first ever cellular gene therapy for cancer, which was developed by Penn’s Carl June, MD, and his team. For many patients who had run out of treatment options, this breakthrough immunotherapy has been nothing short of a miracle. And it wouldn't have been possible without generous philanthropy. The science behind this innovation took over 20 years to develop, and high-risk, high-reward ideas like these cannot rely on traditional funding sources. This is only the beginning. On the horizon are active studies aimed at translating these discoveries for lymphoma, and Marge and Chuck are furthering these innovative studies by championing her physician, Stephen Schuster, MD, who is leading the charge in lymphoma research at Penn Medicine.
Getting involved in giving back and being part of the larger cancer community has many rewards and is an opportunity to be part of making a difference for people facing illness. We are grateful to people like the Aitkens who help raise important funds for cancer research and care.
“The drug used to treat my cancer was approved by the FDA just 10 years prior to my diagnosis. Without philanthropic funds for research, I might have not had the options to fight as I did,” Marge shared. “We are asking our community once again for their support and partnership, because someday, is today.”
To support Marge in her efforts, visit her giving page at givingpages.upenn.edu/supportmarge