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End of Year Thoughts: A Reflection of Hope

Carlo Navarro

As the year winds down, I often sit back and reflect of some of the moments of the past year from a personal perspective and from the perspective of the work we have been doing at the Cancer Research Foundation.

This year, and the past couple of years were filled with many emotions from a personal level, where several of my own family members and friends were affected by cancer. Though some have thankfully survived, a few have not – and it leaves an everlasting wonder of what can we do to avoid this in the future. In a sense, I want to dedicated this end of year note as a tribute, to my family and friends that are no longer here, but also as a sign of hope for those who are still here and affected by their loss. And to all those that I don’t know personally, I’ve seen many stories posted over the past year of cancer affecting your lives and I want to also dedicated this to whatever situations you are going through.

To Uncle Norm, Todd, Uncle Bill, Dawn and Leslie, for all the reasons I wish you were still here, but I hope that we can continue the fight that you so bravely fought during your time here.

As an organization, this year was also a time where the CRF (Cancer Research Foundation) was finishing a website redesign which provided the perfect place to document the stories of the Young Investigators that we have funded, but also to create a space to tell new stories for future Young Investigators and other seasoned cancer scientists. The hope for the future could be presented in this new way for everyone to experience. The goal for the finished design was to be thoughtful, classical, and inspirational. The amazing team at Clique Studios helped us achieve this goal.

As we began to build the blueprint for a new website redesign, the stories of the Young Investigators that the Cancer Research Foundation has funded over the past 60 years started to provide glimpses of hope. The work that has been done in the fight against cancer was reassuring, and the realization of how important it was to continue to seek bold ideas to not only find a cure, but to prevent and to treat this terrible disease.

The Young Investigators Award is a program that was created by the Cancer Research Foundation as a way to invest in early career scientists are who are looking for seed funding to help get their ideas off the ground in the treatment, prevention and potential cure for cancer.

As we began to add the group of Young Investigators from our last cohort to the website, we had the opportunity to have deeper conversations with our scientists and were continued to be inspired by their work. Our conservations led to asking “How can we further bring an element of conversation and help humanize the bold ideas that these investigators were working on?”

The answer to this question led to the podcast to be born called Fighting Cancer. Our goal was to have conversations from our past young investigators, researchers, grantees and innovators in cancer science to find out their inspiration, to discover their moment of wanting to join the fight against cancer, and to hear their story. If you would like to hear the podcast, you can listen HERE.

So as the year started with many questions on why the people I love are affected by cancer, it’s ending with a glimpse of hope. It’s ending with a new found confidence that people who are affected by cancer and their families don’t have to fight alone, and that there are researchers and organizations that are tirelessly working to move the needle in research towards a cure. Here’s to a wonderful and healthy New Year filled with hope and inspiration.


We are continuing to raise funds to help fund Young Investigators and we need your help. If you would like to donate to the CRF, you can donate HERE.