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"Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer announces a $15 million pledge to support breast cancer research at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center."

Total Vera Bradley Foundation giving to top $35 million

FORT WAYNE, Ind., Jan. 9, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer announces a $15 million pledge to support breast cancer research at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. This new pledge will add to the previous $20 million in commitments completed in November 2013 and will continue to fund the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories, named for the Foundation in 2010. The completion of this pledge will bring the total giving to IU Simon Cancer Center to $35 million.

“We strongly believe in the research team’s focus: precision therapeutics,” says Catherine Hill, executive director of Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. “Stated simply, precision therapeutics is giving the right medicine to the right patient at the right time based on genetic factors of both the patient and the tumor.”

The gift will support IU researchers as they:

  • Search for genetic characteristics or mutations that drive specific subtypes of breast cancer and look for new or existing drugs to “fix” the problems
  • Identify genetic markers that will allow them to predict, with a high level of accuracy, who will suffer from life-changing and life-threatening side effects to treatment, or whose cancer is likely to metastasize
  • Combine this knowledge to deliver clinical trials to patients with the goal of improving cure rates and quality of life
The gift will also establish the Vera Bradley Foundation Scholars Program to train scientists and physicians who will be the future leaders in breast cancer research and care. As a result of support from the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, the number of IU researchers focused on breast cancer has grown to 38, up from six in 1999.

The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer recently completed its 2013 fiscal year, raising $2.7 million. The Foundation’s main benefactor is Vera Bradley, Inc., which contributes approximately $1 million each year to the cause. Additional support comes from several sources including events and individual donations. Vera Bradley’s co-founders began raising funds for a cure after the loss of a dear friend to the disease in 1993. To learn more about the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer visit: http://www.verabradley.org.

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