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Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation commits $1.5 million to Riley Children's Foundation

INDIANAPOLIS (July 20, 2010) – The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation recently commemorated A Decade of Caring - its 10th anniversary - with a pledge of $1.5 million to Riley Children’s Foundation. The gift establishes the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation Pediatric Cancer Research Fund. This fund will provide vital resources for Riley Hospital/Indiana University School of Medicine researchers seeking to impact treatments, therapies and cures. Since its first gift in 2001, The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation has given Riley more than $1.58 million.

Riley Hospital’s Cancer Center, a national leader in providing clinical care and conducting research for pediatric cancer, treats 75 percent of all children with cancer in Indiana. The Center’s achievements during the past decade include increasing survival rates by 10 percent for children with high risk neuroblastoma and acute myelogenous leukemia.

The gift from The Jeff Gordon Foundation will create a $1 million endowment to fund research conducted in partnership between Riley Hospital and the Wells Center for Pediatric Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine. The remaining $500,000 will address immediate research needs at Riley Hospital.

The Wells Center for Pediatric Research exists to push forward novel drugs and strategies for cancer prevention and treatment that are discovered. Focus is on developing programs that ultimately will have a clinical impact and create therapeutic advances that can be rapidly assimilated into the treatment of pediatric cancers. Research groups are developing a world class program to understand the molecular basis for tumor cell development, progression and eventual new and novel therapeutics.

“A dedicated group of Wells Center staff will focus on brain tumor genetics, diagnosis and treatment,” Dr. Kelley said. “This will be a major focus of the research conducted under the Jeff Gordon funding.”

“It’s an honor to be able to work with Riley to establish The Jeff Gordon Foundation Pediatric Cancer Research Fund,” Gordon said. “Over 12,500 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, and we consider this gift vital to our Foundation’s commitment to finding a cure.”

Kevin O’Keefe, president and CEO of Riley Children’s Foundation, expressed appreciation for the gift: “Jeff and his foundation are national leaders in helping children and in promoting the importance of cancer research. They have made a tremendous impact at Riley Hospital during our nine-year relationship. We are grateful for their generosity and their commitment.”

Since its inception in 1999, The Jeff Gordon Foundation has awarded nearly $10 million to the country’s top childhood health organizations.  These organizations are instrumental in helping tens of thousands of children facing serious illness. The partnerships developed over the years have brought much needed aid to patients and families with incredible financial burdens, provided life-saving medical treatment and help to fund promising new cancer research and treatment programs.

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