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Sky Foundation, Inc. Raises More Than $100,000 to Find a Test for Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer
Date:11/24/2009

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich., Nov. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Sky Foundation, Inc., a non-profit foundation dedicated to raising $500,000 to fund research to develop a blood test for the early detection of pancreatic cancer, today announced it has raised more that $100,000 since its inception in June 2008. The announcement was made by Sheila Sky Kassleman, founder, Sky Foundation, after the organization's first major fundraiser.

The foundation held its first major fundraiser on November 8, at a brunch at The Village Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Guests heard from speakers Kasselman, Dr. Ann Silverman of Henry Ford Health System, and Dr. Michael Tainsky. The brunch included a silent auction with items donated from merchants throughout the area. Sky Foundation also benefited from a variety of small fundraisers in homes and at local establishments, including one that featured Jeff Zaslow, co-author of the acclaimed New York Times best-seller, The Last Lecture, with the late Dr. Randy Pausch.

"The first year of Sky Foundation has been challenging, inspiring and very effective. We have raised more than $100,000 and educated many people on the perils of pancreatic cancer. Our mission is to fund research to discover a blood test to predict pancreatic cancer early, and we have an established team of researchers from Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University and Henry Ford Health System in place. We are at the beginning of a journey that will increase awareness and save lives," said Kasselman.

Background on Sky Foundation

After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2007 and responding well to treatment, Kasselman established Sky Foundation to fund research for the Sky Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute to develop a diagnostic tool for the early detection of pancreatic cancer.

The Sky Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Research Project is a partnership between the Karmanos Cancer Institute and Henry Ford Health System. Dr. Tainsky, a professor of cancer genetics and pathology at Wayne State University, is the team leader on the research project. Steve Dudas, Ph.D., is leading the research project's efforts to identify pancreatic cancer biomarkers.

Dr. Tainsky believes that a diagnostic test for the early detection of pancreatic cancer can be found within three to five years. The scientific tools are available, and funding is all that is needed for the research to move forward. Currently, pancreatic cancer research constitutes less than 2% of the National Cancer Institute's federal research budget.

Sky Foundation plays a critical role in raising money to help provide the needed financial resources to research the early detection test. Today, a pancreatic cancer diagnosis comes with grim survival statistics. Mortality rates have changed very little in the last three decades. Sky Foundation wants to improve these statistics. When successful, this research for the early detection of pancreatic cancer will save lives and bring hope where little exists today.

Visit www.skyfoundationinc.org for more information. To make a secure on-line tax-deductible donation, PayPal is provided for your convenience. More information on the foundation can be found at www.skyfoundationinc.org or http://www.facebook.com/skyfoundationinc.

SOURCE Sky Foundation, Inc.


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