Golfers, sponsors and volunteers gathered yesterday at Mercer Oaks in Princeton Junction, N.J., for Kelly’s Heroes 4th Annual Teed Off! Golf Outing to Fight Pancreatic Cancer. They were there taking care of a bit of unfinished business.
“As Steve was going through his treatments in two different clinical trials, he truly believed that the science was getting closer to a breakthrough,” said Kerry McKean Kelly, wife of Kelly’s Heroes inspiration Steve Kelly. “We’re here taking care of Steve’s unfinished business – raising funds and waging hope against pancreatic cancer. So thanks to all of you for being one of Steve Kelly’s Heroes.”
The annual event raised more than $10,000 to support cancer research at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. Hopkin’s Ellen Roberts was a special guest, sharing details of the promising research of Drs. Dung Le, Lei Zheng and Bert Vogelstein that Kelly’s Heroes supports. Drs. Le and Zheng were part of Steve Kelly’s care team, while Dr. Vogelstein provided Steve expert counsel on new treatments. They are among the nation’s most renowned pancreatic cancer clinicians and researchers. Roberts shared a sampling of their most recent works:
- Vogelstein and his team developed a blood test that screens for eight common types of cancer, including pancreatic. There is no existing screening test for pancreatic cancer. The test, called CancerSEEK, has had very promising results in its early phases. Within a generation, this test could make pancreatic cancer screening a part of routine bloodwork – a true game changer that would save thousands of lives.
- Le, who was part of the team that developed the immunotherapy drug Keytruda, continues to focus on immunotherapy and combination therapies. Her latest research builds on the chemotherapy trial that Steve participated in, testing a cocktail of chemo drugs at lower doses. The goal is to fight tumors while reducing side effects and maintaining the patient’s quality of life – two priorities for Dr. Le.
- Zheng recently was named co-director of the Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for Pancreatic Cancer. He and his colleagues will perform genomic sequencing on every patient to identify the most effective treatment and drugs based on the patient’s individual genetic makeup.
It’s critically important work that wouldn’t be possible without philanthropic support, said Roberts.
“To this day, (Steve’s) courageous struggle and his determination to raise awareness and funding for pancreatic research – and which you continue to do today – inspires us and our colleagues in a quest for a cure,” said Roberts.
We’re all winners when we raise funds for pancreatic cancer research, but Kelly’s Heroes congratulates the following golfers who were winners on the links as well at our 4th Annual Teed Off! Golf Outing to Fight Pancreatic Cancer.
Jerry Solujich was a first-time recipient of the Green Jacket for coming closest to the pin on hole 8. The Green Jacket is a Steve Kelly tradition that originated nearly 20 years ago at his annual St. Patrick’s Day Party. Congratulations to Jerry for becoming part of the legend!
Solujich also was part of the winning foursome which also included Ed Murawinski, Mark Skahan and Steve Rhamstine.
The second-place team was Barry Fox, Bob Knorr, Mike Vermes and Tom Pohl, followed by Danny Tanner, Ken Balcome, Len Rodak and Russ Snyder.
Other individual winners included Jude Habib and Katrina Campbell for the longest drives, Judy Uosikkinen for coming closest to the pin on hole 5, and our Sink Cancer putting winners, James Smith and Ed Murawinski.
Kelly’s Heroes thanks its generous sponsors, whose support of our annual Teed Off! Golf Outing helps us wage hope against pancreatic cancer.
Back again with their generous support each year are our Ace sponsors Blue Rock Construction and Pennsylvania Steel Co. They are joined by our Eagle sponsor NEPCO and Birdie sponsors, the Cottone Family, Habib Law and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
There’s still time to sign up to join our friendly crowd of sponsors and other supporters Oct. 16 at Mercer Oaks East in Princeton Junction. It’s a four-person, best ball scramble, with special holes and contests throughout the course. Afterward, join us in the clubhouse for buffet, drinks, prizes, raffles and brief remarks from Ellen Roberts of the Johns Hopkins Hospital who will share details on how your support makes a difference for those facing pancreatic cancer.
A registration flier and secure online payment are available on our Join Us page. See you on the links!
12 Farms in Hightstown is hosting a Kelly’s Heroes fund raiser Nov. 8, and donating to the cause couldn’t get more delicious! Just enjoy one of 12 Farms’ farm-to-table meals, and Chef Renato will donate 10 percent of all dinner checks to Kelly’s Heroes. It’s that easy! 12 Farms is at 120 N. Main Street, Hightstown. It’s BYOB, or purchase a local bottle of wine from Working Dog Winery. Visit www.12farms.com to view the menu and make a reservation starting at 5 p.m.
Help us wage hope against pancreatic cancer! It’s the third leading cause of cancer death, with a five-year survival rate of just 9 percent. Kelly’s Heroes is hosting its 4th annual Teed Off! Golf Outing to Fight Pancreatic Cancer Oct. 16 at Mercer Oaks in Princeton Junction, N.J.
Play Mercer Oaks’ East course in a shotgun start, four-person best ball scramble, followed by a post-match buffet, drinks, prizes and auction. Proceeds benefit patient clinical trials that bring hope for increased survival.
We also offer sponsorships at all levels and invite you to join us on the links to boost your brand, spend time with fun and compassionate people and advance Steve Kelly’s wish to “kick the tar outta’ pancreatic cancer.”
Go to our Join Us page to register online, or print and mail our registration flier. Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelly’s Heroes recently awarded its annual Healthcare Scholarships to two deserving high school seniors. The annual awards recognize Steve Kelly’s great appreciation for the nurses who provided compassionate care during his cancer journey.
Two awards of $500 are presented to a student from Hightstown (N.J.) High School and Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, N.J. The HHS recipient is Amanda Szeles, a scholar-athlete who played on the school’s lacrosse team. Amanda plans to study nursing at Seton Hall University. The scholarship was presented by Linda Heller, a longtime friend of the Kelly family and an HHS teacher who is retiring following this school year.
At Notre Dame, the scholarship was awarded to Zoe Carpene, who will pursue a nursing degree at the University of Vermont. A dancer as well as an excellent student, Zoe earned a Presidential Scholarship at Vermont. Her award was presented by T.J. Drahuschak, last year’s Kelly’s Heroes scholarship recipient who is studying nursing at William Paterson University.
Overall cancer death rates and incidence rates have decreased for men and women across racial and ethnic groups in the United States. And yet, pancreatic cancer death rates and incidence rates continue to climb.
Those are among the sobering findings in the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, released May 22 by the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.
Pancreatic cancer stands as the third leading cause of cancer death, and is projected to become the second leading cause by 2020.
Death rates declined measurably in cancers such as lung, melanoma, colon, breast, prostate, leukemia and nearly every other type of major cancer. But for pancreatic cancer, the death rate increased for both men and women.
The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition – of which Kelly’s Heroes is a member – has a mantra in the fight against pancreatic cancer: Demand better. We support the mission of better treatment options, better screening and better outcomes for the 40,000 Americans who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year. Our fund-raising efforts support research into early detection and new types of treatment, continuing Steve Kelly’s commitment to making pancreatic cancer a disease you live with, rather than die from.
Kelly’s Heroes presented a $25,000 check May 4 to Dr. Dung Le and her colleagues at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins to support clinical trials that bring hope to patients facing pancreatic cancer.
With the latest donation, Kelly’s Heroes has contributed $43,000 to Johns Hopkins physicians who are leading cutting-edge research in immunotherapy and other treatments to increase survival. The money is raised through donations, events and the generosity and commitment of Kelly’s Heroes supporters.
Board members Bill Habib and Kerry McKean Kelly presented the check as part of the Johns Hopkins Spring Luncheon, an annual event for patients, donors and supporters. Dr. Le delivered luncheon remarks on “the promise of immunotherapy.”
Dr. Le, who was Steve Kelly’s physician through two clinical trials, choked back emotions as she discussed how patient volunteers in some of her earlier trials have allowed today’s patients to live longer, with better quality of life. She credited those trial participants and philanthropic donations with making those advances possible.
“What your money goes toward is a mission – of hope and opportunity,” she said.
About 120 of Steve Kelly’s closest friends honored his legacy March 24 at the 3rd Annual Kelly’s Heroes St. Patrick’s Day Party in East Windsor, N.J., raising $8,000 to support cancer research.
The money will support patient clinical trials and research into early detection and improved treatments at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, where Steve Kelly was a patient and a clinical trial hero.
“Steve would be humbled to know what he has inspired,” said his wife Kerry McKean Kelly. “Pancreatic cancer has a five-year survival rate of just 9 percent and is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer death by 2020. The standard of care for pancreatic cancer just isn’t good enough. We need to do better, we need to demand better, and we can’t do it without you.”
The fund raiser carries on a Steve Kelly tradition, whose annual St. Patrick’s Day parties featured Irish music and dancing, a golf contest and March Madness on TV for more than 20 years. Joining the festivities this year were dancers from the Denogla-Ardmore School of Irish Dance and the band Ballycastle.
A portion of the proceeds will also provide two $500 scholarships for graduating seniors at Hightstown High School and Notre Dame High School who plan to pursue nursing or other healthcare studies. Visit the Photos page to view a photo gallery of this year’s event.
Join the Kelly’s Heroes March Madness pool – it’s fun and it’s free! Who needs cash winnings when you could nab a Kelly’s Heroes prize pack and a year of bragging rights?
The reigning champ is Steve Kelly protégé Kacey Kelly. Who’s in this year? To join the fun, go to http://games.espn.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/2018/en/groupfind, search All Groups for Kellys Heroes. Our password is “HOPE.”
Be sure to track the standings throughout the tourney on Facebook at www.facebook.com/1kellysheroes .