Colleen’s Dream Foundation Grants $10,000 to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for Ovarian Cancer Research

Share Article

Colleen's Dream Foundation President Billy Cundiff presents grant to Dr. Jamie Guenthoer.

Colleen Drury - The Inspiration for Colleen's Dream Foundation and Kicking For The Dream

As a young investigator, I appreciate the support of Colleen’s Dream Foundation in my quest to identify new biomarkers for the early detection of ovarian cancer." Dr. Jamie Guenthoer.

Colleen’s Dream Foundation has granted $10,000 to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to fund ovarian cancer research being conducted by Dr. Jamie Guenthoer, according to Colleen’s Dream Foundation President Billy Cundiff.

"Dr. Guenthoer is a rising star,” says Cundiff. “She has a real passion for ovarian cancer research. We are thrilled to support her research."

Guenthoer, a postdoctoral fellow in the Human Biology Division at Fred Hutch, says her interest in cancer research first came through a personal experience – her mom had breast cancer for eight years. She said that experience revealed to her the amount of work that needs to be done in the “ongoing battle” with cancer.

Guenthoer’s work focuses on characterizing a novel, circulating miRNA biomarker that is highly expressed in ovarian tumors and abundant in the circulation of women with ovarian cancer but practically undetectable in healthy women and those with benign ovarian disease. As a result, this marker has the potential to facilitate the early detection of ovarian cancer through minimally invasive means, potentially in conjunction with other ovarian cancer biomarkers and imaging tests, which could considerably decrease mortality from the disease.

Guenthoer says she is very appreciative of Colleen’s Dream Foundation’s support of her efforts.

“As a young investigator, I appreciate the support of Colleen’s Dream Foundation in my quest to identify new biomarkers for the early detection of ovarian cancer,” says Dr. Guenthoer. “Sadly, it is a disease that often goes undiagnosed until it is in an advanced stage.”

Guenthoer says one of the most significant factors in dictating prognosis for individuals with cancer is early detection.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to ovarian cancer, only 15 percent of all cases are detected at an early stage, when the disease is confined to the ovaries,” she says. “I believe that for ovarian cancer, there is a dire need to identify and develop novel tools to improve early detection, and I think those tools could make a significant impact on minimizing mortality.”

Dr. Peggy Porter, a renowned, senior researcher at Fred Hutch and Guenthoer’s mentor, says grants such as the one given by Colleen’s Dream Foundation are becoming an increasingly important source of funding for young researchers as government research money continues to decline.

“With the decline in federal research funding, private donations are more important than ever to advance the research and careers of outstanding young researchers like Jamie Guenthoer,” says Porter, who is a member of the Human Biology and Public Health Sciences Divisions at Fred Hutch. “We are so grateful to Colleen’s Dream Foundation for supporting her exciting research project, which has the potential to develop new tools that can be used to detect ovarian cancer early, when the chance of cure is highest.”

Cundiff says the $10,000 given to the Hutch was raised though Kicking For The Dream, an online fundraising platform created by Cundiff to raise money for Colleen’s Dream Foundation.

Go here for more information about Kicking For The Dream.

Go here for more information about Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.


Colleen’s Dream Foundation started in 2012 and supports research for early detection and improved treatment for ovarian cancer. The story of Colleen’s Dream started in 2007 when Colleen Drury –Nicole Cundiff’ mother and Billy Cundiff’s mother-in-law- was diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer. The family became aware of a new world that was filled with invasive surgery, harsh chemotherapy, and lots of uncertainty, and realized they needed to help others who were dealing with ovarian cancer.

Colleen’s Dream Foundation believes it is important to raise money for research that will lead to reliable early detection testing and improved treatment for ovarian cancer. Because so little is known about ovarian cancer in proportion to other women’s health issues, there is an incredible opportunity for research and education.
Colleen's Dream Foundation is a qualified 501 (c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization based in Phoenix, Arizona.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Colleen's Dream Foundation
+1 (480) 269-2266
Email >
Visit website