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University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus

Creating Futures

Cancer Research

AMC Cancer Fund supports University of Colorado Cancer Center research and care


In 2005, the AMC Cancer Fund affiliated with the University of Colorado Cancer Center and threw its support behind research into the prevention and treatment of cancer.

“AMC has a one hundred year history of curing and caring. Now we are able to pay it forward to the University of Colorado Cancer Center, “ said Alice Norton, Executive Director & CFO, AMC Cancer Fund.

The contributions from the AMC Cancer Fund are usually unrestricted, meaning they can be applied to the research that is most needed. Dan Theodorescu, MD, Director, University of Colorado Cancer Center explains that this type of contribution allows the center to put its attention on timely research as well as follow the center’s mission and priorities. In that sense, AMC is really a unique partner in the fundraising.

With the support of generous donors such as the AMC Cancer Fund, the University of Colorado Cancer Center offers the only comprehensive cancer care center in the Rocky Mountain region, and only one of 40 in the United States. That’s why Thellissa and Gary Zollinger chose to come to the Anschutz Medical Campus for health when they found out that Gary had stage four lung cancer. Gary had never even smoked, and the lung cancer had progressed without being detected. At the University of Colorado Hospital, Gary became only one of a small number of lung cancer patients in the world to undergo a double lung transplant.

Gary was determined to do everything he could to help others. He created an endowment at the CU Foundation to support the critical research needed for early detection of lung cancer. For ongoing funding, he and Thelissa established a race called The Gift of Life and Breath. Gary lived to see the first race.

Four months later, Gary passed on. But Thelissa said she knew that he would want this important work to go on. The race went on—and every year it gets bigger and bigger, raising more dollars to help others through vital research and critical care.

Learn more about the AMC Cancer Fund.

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