Kelben Foundation makes historic gift to the MACC Fund

Milwaukee, WI (February 15, 2008) – Kelben Foundation Makes Historic Grant to the MACC Fund

The Kelben Foundation has made a $500,000 grant to the MACC Fund, Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc. The Kelben Foundation provides support for educational and child-oriented initiatives in the Milwaukee area. The Kelben Foundation grant is the largest ever given to the MACC Fund in its 31-year history.

The multi-year grant will support the MACC Fund’s “Opportunity Fund for Translational Research in Pediatric Oncology and Blood Diseases.” The $1 million Opportunity Fund has a two-fold goal. Namely, to support and sustain the clinical research infrastructure necessary for translation of discoveries to children with cancer and blood diseases; and secondly to provide a source of funds for strategic new initiatives or opportunities that would lead to or accelerate the translation of discoveries to children with cancer and blood diseases.

Dr. James Casper, MD, Professor of Pediatrics of the Medical College of Wisconsin and Section Chief of the Division of Hematology, Oncology Transplant, is the Principal Investigator for the Opportunity Fund. The first application of the Opportunity Fund is a three-year $450,000 grant for the “Use of Lentivirus-Based Vectors for Improving the Safety of Donor Leukocyte Infusion (DLI)-Based Therapy after Bone Marrow Transplantation. Dr. William Drobyski, MD, Professor of the Medical College of Wisconsin, is the Principal Investigator for the Lentivirus grant.

Jon McGlocklin, President and Co-Founder of the MACC Fund, remarked that “the MACC Fund is honored and grateful that its longtime friends, Mary and Ted Kellner, have made this historic gift through the Kelben Foundation. Translational research is the trend in research today with the goal of translating the ideas from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside. This gift will do just that. Children with cancer and related blood disorders will be the true beneficiaries of this wonderful gift from the Kellners and the Kelben Foundation.”

The MACC Fund supports pediatric cancer and related blood disorder research in Wisconsin. Its primary beneficiary is the Midwest Children’s Cancer Center which is a collaborative effort of the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The research is conducted in the 6-story MACC Fund Research Center of the Medical College of Wisconsin. The MACC Fund also supports research at the Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Upon completion of construction later this summer, the research there will be conducted on the MACC Fund Pediatric Cancer Research Wing of the University’s Interdisciplinary Research Center. Since it inception in 1976, the MACC Fund has contributed $29 million to research support. Long-term commitments bring that total to $34 million. During this time, the overall cure rate for childhood cancer has increased from 20% to 80%, made possible in part to the support of the MACC Fund.