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CONCORD, N.C. – The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation’s mission has always been to support children battling cancer.

It does so by funding programs that improve patients’ quality of life, treatment programs that increase survivorship and pediatric medical research dedicated to finding a cure.

This week, the foundation helped further that cause in the Carolinas. Carolinas HealthCare System announced a charitable commitment from the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, establishing a $2 million endowed chair in support of academic and research efforts at Levine Children’s Hospital.

The funds will help create the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation Endowed Chair in Cancer and Blood Disorders.

“Cancer remains the leading cause of death from disease in children in the United States, and better cures for children with cancer will only come through research,” Gordon said. “I’ve never faced anything on the racetrack as tough as childhood cancer. I won’t stop until we beat it.”

Gene Woods, the president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System, said gifts like the one from Gordon’s foundation help make Levine Children’s Hospital’s pediatric cancer program remain one of the best in the country. “When it comes to our mission to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing for all, we realize that we can’t do this work alone,” Woods said. “Thanks to the support of Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation and many in our community, our researchers have the academic and scientific freedom to move forward, pursue new treatment options and discover the next generation of medical science.”

Javier Oesterheld, MD, has been named the first Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation Endowed Chair.

“I am deeply grateful for the support of the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation and their commitment to research – but even more so for their passion to improve the lives of pediatric cancer patients in our region,” Oesterheld said. “This gift will prove instrumental in supporting our new pediatric cancer translational research laboratory which will open in 2018 at Levine Cancer Institute, and launching clinical trials designed to enhance treatment and diagnosis of cancer and blood disorders.”