FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., April 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer (DDF) announced that four (4) $50,000 research grants will be awarded at its 9th annual Dream Makers Gala on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida. Each grant is the result of generous donations made to DDF in memory of those who lost their life to stomach cancer. Grants will be awarded to researchers who are conducting studies in areas specific to gastric cancer as follows:

  • A $50,000 Debbie’s Dream Foundation-AACR Gastric Cancer Research Fellowship in memory of DDF Founder Debbie Zelman will be awarded to Spencer Willet, PhD of Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Willet is exploring the role of the Hippo pathway in gastric tumorigenesis.
  • A $50,000 Debbie’s Dream Foundation-AACR Gastric Cancer Research Fellowship in memory of DDF PREP patient and stomach cancer advocate Sally Mandel will be awarded to Valerie O’Brien, PhD of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. Dr. O’Brien is assessing Helicobacter pylori contributions to stomach cancer progression.
  • A $50,000 Debbie’s Dream Foundation-AACR Gastric Cancer Research Fellowship in memory of Sally Mandel will be awarded to Richard Hodge, PhD of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Hodge is researching aberrant RHOA function and signaling in driving diffuse gastric cancer.
  • A $50,000 Debbie’s Dream Foundation-Stupid Strong-AACR Gastric Cancer Research Fellowship in memory of Candace Netzer will be awarded to Ashleigh Poh, PhD of Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Poh is exploring co-targeting HCK as a combination therapy to treat gastric cancer.

This year’s list of generous donors include Andrew Guttman and Family who donated $50,000 in memory of his late wife, Debbie Zelman; Greystone Consulting, a Morgan Stanley Company, that donated $50,000 in memory of Sally Mandel; former tennis player and successful businessman Peter Palandjian who donated $50,000 in memory of Sally Mandel; and Stupid Strong, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about stomach cancer, that donated $50,000 in memory of Candace Netzer.

“Every year we host our Gala with the objective of achieving our mission which is to one day help find a cure for gastric cancer,” said DDF Executive Director Andrea Eidelman. “These young researchers give us hope that their work will yield significant developments that will eventually lead to alternative and better treatments for patients. These opportunities are afforded thanks to the generosity of our donors who so passionately support and believe in DDF’s mission.”

For more information about the 9th Annual Dream Makers Gala, DDF’s grant program, or to learn more about DDF, visit www.DebbiesDream.org.

About Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer
Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer (DDF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about gastric cancer, advancing funding for research, and providing education and support internationally to patients, families, and caregivers. Debbie’s Dream Foundation seeks as its ultimate goal to make the cure for stomach cancer a reality.

DDF was founded in 2009 by Debbie Zelman after she was diagnosed with stage IV incurable gastric cancer in 2008 and given only weeks to live. Debbie is considered a pioneer by many for bringing awareness about the plight of stomach cancer patients worldwide and the lack of federal funding for stomach cancer research. She did all of this while receiving hundreds of rounds of chemo in addition to daily oral treatments. Debbie passed away on December 23, 2017 at the age of 50, almost a decade later. As a result of her leadership, DDF now has a Scientific and Medical Advisory Board of world-renowned doctors and chapters throughout the United States and in Canada and Germany. DDF strives to continue Debbie’s mission to make her dream come true. To learn more about DDF, please visit us at www.DebbiesDream.org.

Media Contact:
Brittnay Starks
Communications Coordinator
Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer
(954) 475-1200
193502@email4pr.com

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SOURCE Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer