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Mattress Firm committed to pancreatic cancer research

PHOENIX, Ariz. July 29, 2011 Mattress Firm, a leading specialty mattress retailer with more than 720 stores nationwide, is committed to supporting the fight against pancreatic cancer by raising funds for clinical trials through the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) globalCure initiative.

GlobalCure is a TGen-led alliance of the world's foremost scientists, physicians and advocates in the fight to find a cure for pancreatic cancer, the nation's fourth leading cause of cancer death.

Mattress Firm is following in the footsteps of Scottsdale resident Roger Magowitz, who for nearly a decade has championed research into finding a cure for pancreatic cancer, the disease that took the life of his mother, Seena, in 2001.

Magowitz, a longtime member of the bedding industry, has enlisted the Houston-based company's Mattress Firm Foundation to join the fight against pancreatic cancer by supporting globalCure.

"Roger Magowitz was quick to impress upon us all the importance of funding research and raising awareness for this deadly disease," said Mattress Firm President and CEO Steve Stagner. "His transfer of enthusiasm to us really hit home with our executive team, and ultimately with the rest of our company."

As a result, Mattress Firm Foundation has named TGen as its "charitable partner," specifically funding the research and clinical trials conducted by globalCure.

"It is a most generous tribute to my late mother that the Mattress Firm Foundation has elected to join the fight against pancreatic cancer, specifically through funding globalCure," said Roger Magowitz, President of the Seena Magowitz Foundation. "Pancreatic cancer is a disease that we believe can eventually be cured and soon."

Through a promotional partnership with Simmons Bedding Co. earlier this year and corporate support of the cause Mattress Firm Foundation has already raised more than $400,000 to directly support the clinical trials and research of globalCure. The company hopes to raise even more by the end of 2011.

The company's foundation is dedicated to raising funds via a variety of avenues, including the recent introduction of their employee donation program. To reach the broadest audience possible, Mattress Firm Foundation has launched online donation options on the company's website,, and on a new fundraising platform through Crowdrise, a unique blend of online fundraising, crowdsourcing, social networking and contests.

Funding as many clinical trials as possible is the focus of Mattress Firm Foundation's efforts. "As we build more awareness, and develop more fundraising opportunities, we will start funding even more clinical trials every year," said Sunni Goodman, Mattress Firm's Communications Manager.

Raising awareness of pancreatic cancer and the great need for research and clinical trials is a key component of the Foundation's efforts. In June, the company launched the foundation nationwide, displaying literature in each of their more than 700 stores to provide information and make local communities aware of the need. The company also has plans to boost initial fundraising with in-store donation options this fall.

"We have one clear focus. We know that our fundraising efforts will go directly to those clinical trials so that we can, hopefully, find a cure for this cancer in our lifetime," Stagner said.

Mattress Firm employees, their families, friends and customers are discovering that they know patients with pancreatic cancer, which annually takes the lives of more than 35,000 Americans. The father of one employee, for example, recently went to the doctor for a back cramp, only to discover cancer in his pancreas, spine and elsewhere.

Funding generated through globalCure enables the TGen and TGen Drug Development-led Pancreatic Cancer Research Team (PCRT) to generate independent, scientifically driven clinical trials in an effort to accelerate the pace of discovery and find a cure for this cancer as soon as possible. PCRT is a worldwide consortium of 45 clinical institutions dedicated to pancreatic cancer research.

"Mattress Firm's philanthropic leadership has provided a critically important boost to this unprecedented alliance of the world's top pancreatic cancer researchers," said TGen Foundation President Michael Bassoff. "With the support of the Mattress Firm Foundation, globalCure is bringing new hope to families battling pancreatic cancer around the world."

Stagner said he hopes that Mattress Firm Foundation's support will multiply through globalCure and do for pancreatic cancer research and scientific discovery what the Susan G. Komen foundation has done for the fight against breast cancer.


Contact: Steve Yozwiak
The Translational Genomics Research Institute

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