University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center and Funky Winkerbean Cartoonist Tom Batiuk Establish Lisa’s Legacy Fund for Cancer Research and Education
CLEVELAND, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire/ — For the first time in a comic strip, Funky Winkerbean creator Tom Batiuk has depicted the death of a young wife and mother from the recurrence of breast cancer. Lisa Moore, a major character who is battling breast cancer for a second time, succumbs to the disease on Oct. 4, 2007, leaving behind her husband, Les, and their five-year-old daughter, Summer.
As a result of Batiuk’s commitment to helping people facing their own real life battles with cancer, University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center in Cleveland has unveiled a fund called Lisa’s Legacy Fund for Cancer Research and Education, named in honor of Batiuk’s character and her subsequent story which has resonated with thousands of readers.
The University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center is one of only 40 comprehensive cancer centers in the United States, as designated by the National Institutes of Health. Currently in its 19th year of operation, it is a leading center for patient care, cancer research, and community education about cancer care. One hundred percent of the donations to Lisa’s Legacy Fund will go to cancer research and education at Ireland Cancer Center. Ongoing research includes work on the development of a vaccine for breast cancer, a blood test for colon cancer, breakthrough chemotherapy treatments for all types of cancer featuring new drugs developed by the Center’s clinician- scientists, and new approaches to radiation treatments. Ireland Cancer Center is one of only eight cancer centers in the country to have access to a pipeline of new drugs through the National Cancer Institute for early phase clinical trials.
Batiuk has granted UH Ireland Cancer Center permission to use Lisa’s name and likeness to raise funds for cancer research and education. Additionally, Batiuk and King Features Syndicate, a Unit of Hearst Corporation, will donate all royalties from his book, Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe, published by The Kent State University Press ($27.95 hardcover, $18.95 paper; October 4, 2007) to Lisa’s Legacy Fund at the Ireland Cancer Center.
Lisa’s Story is a collection of the 1999 comic strips about Lisa’s initial battle with cancer, going into remission, and the current series examining her struggle with the disease and its effect on her family and friends. Additionally, it contains resource material on breast cancer, including the importance of early detection, information sources, hospice and palliative care support systems, and health care.
Batiuk, a cancer survivor himself, said, “Anyone whose family has been affected by cancer knows what a gut-wrenching experience it can be. While great strides have been made in the fight against cancer, there is still much work to do. I’ve received hundreds of letters and emails from people who recognized themselves or loved ones in Lisa’s story. She came to represent the many individual battles against cancer that people fight everyday. Beyond the emotional impact that Lisa’s story has had on people, Lisa’s Legacy Fund will now have a real impact on the continuing fight against cancer.”
Stanton Gerson, M.D., director of the UH Ireland Cancer Center, said, “We are sincerely appreciative of Tom Batiuk’s heart-felt gift in allowing us to establish Lisa’s Legacy Fund to support cancer research. Through his work, Tom has done much to let women who are fighting breast cancer know that they are not alone. And through Lisa’s Legacy Fund, we will be able to continue making progress in our ultimate goals of preventing, controlling, and eradicating cancer in all of its different forms.” In order to provide the most comprehensive services, University Hospitals is set to build a new, free- standing cancer hospital that will unite all of its cancer services under one roof. The proposed 360,000-square-foot facility, slated to open in 2010, will include 150 inpatient beds and ambulatory units for multidisciplinary care, allowing all physicians involved in the individual patient’s care to assemble in one location to develop and monitor the treatment plan with the patient. The hospital will have glass-enclosed areas on multiple levels allowing patients and visitors to enjoy healing gardens and other quiet places that reflect the dedication to patient and family-centered care.
Recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 25 hospitals for cancer care in the country, the mission of Ireland Cancer Center is simple: to cure cancer.
Gifts can be made to Lisa’s Legacy Fund at http://www.lisaslegacyfund.org/ or by mail to Lisa’s Legacy Fund, University Hospitals Ireland Cancer Center, PO Box 74947, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44106.
The UH Ireland Cancer Center information services hot line is 1-800-641-2422.
About Tom Batiuk
Tom Batiuk is a graduate of Kent State University. His Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft comic strips are carried in more than 700 newspapers throughout the United States. In 2006, he was honored by the American Cancer Society and presented its Cancer Care Hall of Fame Award for his sympathetic work in highlighting the experiences of those with cancer. Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe is available from local bookstores, amazon.com, or http://www.kentstateuniversitypress.com/.
About University Hospitals
With 150 locations throughout Northeast Ohio, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of hospitals, outpatient centers and primary care physicians. At the core of our Health System is University Hospitals Case Medical Center. The primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Case Medical Center is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research centers of excellence in the nation and the world, including cancer, pediatrics, women’s health, orthopedics and spine, radiology and radiation oncology, neurosurgery and neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, organ transplantation and human genetics. Its main campus includes the internationally celebrated Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, ranked best in the Midwest and first in the nation for the care of critically ill newborns; MacDonald Women’s Hospital, Ohio’s only hospital for women; and Ireland Cancer Center, which holds the nation’s highest designation by the National Cancer Institute of Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information, go to http://www.uhhospitals.org/.
CONTACT: Loree Vick or George Stamatis, +1-216-844-3825, both ofUniversity Hospitals
Web site: http://www.lisaslegacyfund.org/http://www.uhhospitals.org/http://www.kentstateuniversitypress.com/