More Moments More Memories Foundation Aims to Help Cancer Patients Access Clinical Trials
Contact: Emily Sadewasser, Marketing Coordinator
For Immediate Release
Christi Shaw and Shelley Shaw, sisters who grew up on a farm on the border of Arlington and Volga, and graduated from Central High School, Elkader, are co-founders of the More Moments More Memories Foundation. Their mission is inspired by both their late mother, Karen Shaw, and their late sister, Sherry Whitford, who both experienced the significant hardships of cancer.
Karen Shaw died of breast cancer in 1996. At the time, the sisters were told there was nothing more anyone could do to save their mother’s life. She suffered through chemotherapy and radiation, and bravely fought to stay alive. What the sisters did not know was that there were clinical trials available at the time in other parts of the country. If they had known, and their mother had been given the option to take advantage of those trials, she might have lived a few more years or even just a few months to see her youngest daughter graduate from Loras College on Mothers’ Day.
Both in careers as pharmaceutical industry executives, Christi and Shelley gained the institutional knowledge and experience to become effective patient caregivers and advocates when their sister Sherry was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, and they sought out clinical trials and other innovative treatments. As they navigated the healthcare system, it became clear to them that most families in similar situations do not have the same unique experience or ability to effectively access clinical trials. Christi and Shelley deeply understand, personally and professionally, the ongoing needs of cancer patients and the sad reality that those with financial means are better able to access quality solutions.
The Shaw sisters are passionate about their belief that lack of financial resources or lack of awareness about potential solutions should never stand in the way of creating more moments and more memories for families. So, in mid-2017, they started the More Moments More Memories Foundation, a fund held by the Clayton County Foundation for the Future, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.
The foundation seeks to provide necessary resources so more patients have access to the healthcare innovations they need and the support of their loving caregiver - someone at their side to advocate for them through the most difficult and challenging time of their life. Grant applicants can request financial support for cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials. Eligible expenses include travel, lodging, and meals for the patient and their caregiver.
Since inception, the foundation has provided grants of up to $5,000 to 16 patients across seven states seeking support to attend clinical trials all over the country. Applicant diagnoses have included diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, breast cancer, brain cancer, sarcoma, and melanoma. Eight of those 16 grants have been awarded to patients in Iowa, with one
Guttenberg family receiving a grant for a clinical trial they participated in last year. Grant applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Applicants must be referred to a cancer clinical trial by a physician and must demonstrate financial need by submitting the last two consecutive years of IRS Form 1040. Preference is given to residents of Clayton and Fayette Counties in Iowa and secondarily to any Iowa resident, but any resident of the United States may apply. For more information, to apply for a grant, or to make a gift, visit www.MoreMomentsMoreMemories.org. Donations to More Moments More Memories are tax deductible, and 100% of donations go directly to patients in need.