Kim's Fund started with an event. While Kim was at M. D. Anderson, her friends in New York City planned an event at the Nineteenth Hole, a favorite bar in Manhattan, to raise money for a trip for Kim and Brian on her recovery. Kim had a different idea - the money should go for research and assistance for needy patients battling cancer. Thus Kim's Fund was born, and over $2,000 was raised.
The Big Apple Raffle followed on April 13, 2000.
The next event took place in Boston while Kim was recovering in Sarasota from the bone marrow transplant and trying to decrease her dependence on the medication that is required after the transplant. This was the "Girls Room" concert.
Following Kim's death, her college friend Jenn Lordi Stevens and her husband Jeff organized a golf tournament, Swingin' for the Cure, in southern New Hampshire. It was a great success, and Kim's many friends from the greater Boston area had a chance to get together, share memories and help the growth of Kim's Fund.
Kim's friends also helped in individual ways. Susie Sears, a friend since childhood and a strong runner, moved to New York City following Kim's death and raised funds from her running activities. Others helped with our letters and expanding the Fund's base of supporters.
The golf tournament made apparent the need for a vehicle for the development of Kim's Fund. Following discussions with advisors and the legal staff at M. D. Anderson, it was determined that the best course was the establishment of a separate not-for-profit entity for the administrative requirements of the Fund, so that all donor proceeds would go directly, and without and expenses being deducted, to research and patient assistance. The Kimberly Patterson Murphy Leukemia Research Fund, Inc. was organized in 2005. It is a support organization. It is responsible for the letters to supporters of Kim's Fund and for organizing events. It works closely with M. D. Anderson.
Our support organization hosted a very successful forum in Sarasota in May of 2007 on recent developments in leukemia research and cancer therapies. Dr. Thomas Burke, the physician in chief at M. D. Anderson, and Dr. Jean-Pierre J. Issa, a professor in the department of leukemia and a leading research physician, gave most interesting and informative presentations. A dinner followed. Drs. Anderson and Issa made a convincing case for the need for funding from non-traditional sources like Kim's Fund as the venture capital equivalent of cancer research.
Our second Sarasota event was held on April 15, 2009. We were honored to have as our guests and speakers Dr. Deborah Thomas and Dr. Ernest T. Hawk. Dr. Thomas was one of Kim's physicians and serves as the medical advisor to Kim's Fund. Dr. Hawk is the head of the division of cancer prevention and population sciences at M. D. Anderson. Over 100 attendees at the event learned of the incredible complexities and challenges as well as the progress in understanding the causes and developing the cures for cancer, as well as the behavioral and environmental factors that can reduce the likelihood of the occurrence of cancer. M. D. Anderson does a remarkable job of informing supporters of Kim's Fund through it's publications that all supporters receive. However, hearing about it first hand and having the opportunity to ask questions of physicians and researchers like Dr. Thomas and Dr. Hawk is a remarkable opportunity.
The next in our series of events in Sarasota is planned for the Spring of 2011. We hope that those of you who have not been able to attend the prior events will be able to join us at the next one. We believe you will find it to be very informative and worthwhile.