I’m home and feeling refreshed from my short getaway with my girlfriends.  My blood test results last week were low, so I had to stop the experimental drug temporarily.  I will be restarting at a lower dose this week, which I am still optimistic will be effective.

2012 was a very successful fundraising year for the Noreen Fraser Foundation (NFF). We were able to fund three research projects with grants that we believe will make a critical leap forward in the field of women’s cancer research.  I would like to acknowledge our partnership with STELLA & DOT, whose efforts enabled us to exceed our 2012 fundraising goals.

Today I want to highlight the first of our grants.

Epigenetics is a research area now gaining attention, involving new drugs that researchers believe will be effective in treating breast and ovarian cancers in a new way at the genetic level.  The grant was given to the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA, who will collaborate with researchers at Johns Hopkins in testing new drugs that will focus on epigenetic changes in cancer cells.   The UCLA lab will run pre-clinical testing on the newly identified agents with the same approach it took to identify and test PD 0332991, the new drug whose pre-clinical work was also funded by NFF and is now being touted as a major breakthrough in breast cancer treatment.  Epigenetic research is cutting edge, and an important part of the Noreen Fraser Foundation’s mission is to ensure that new targeted and non-toxic treatments are made available as quickly as possible.  You can read more about the research here.

However, there is one hitch.  The doctors will need an additional $53,000 to complete their work so we have instituted the NFF Winter Challenge to help raise the difference.  Please consider helping us.  At our website, 100 percent of our donations are always directed to cancer research, but from now until April 20, every penny we raise will go to the epigenetics lab.  Take a look at the NFF website for great "FUNraising" ideas.  NFF supporters have raised money to support women's cancer research in a variety of ways.  A high school bake sale raised $335; the NFF team in the Sacramento marathon raised $8,000; a child in Chicago collected loose change in a “Give-Back” jar to send in $126.  Every penny really does make a difference.

On Sunday, I will be watching the 85th Academy Awards, hosted by Noreen Fraser Foundation’s good friend, Seth McFarlane.  Seth was the 2012 Noreen Fraser Foundation’s honoree at Variety's Power of Comedy and helped us raise a significant amount of money to fund ground-breaking women's cancer research.  Thank you, and good luck hosting the Oscars, Seth!