Texas legislators Invest In Ovarian Cancer Research at MD Anderson

KK125 Foundation presents $50,000 gift inspired by three courageous women

MD Anderson News Release 12/16/2014

The KK125 Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, established by State Rep. Ken King (R-Canadian), District 88, and State Rep. Kyle Kacal (R-College Station), District 12, has donated $50,000 to ovarian cancer research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The contribution honors the legislators’ mothers, both of whom died of the disease in 2013. The gift also memorializes the legislators’ close friend, the late Andrea Sloan. Until her death from ovarian cancer on Near Year’s Day 2014, Sloan was executive director and general counsel for the Texas Advocacy Project. Rep. King’s mother and Sloan received treatment at MD Anderson.

King and Kacal founded the KK125 Foundation shortly after Sloan’s death to advance ovarian cancer treatments, cures and early detection and to reform compassionate use.

“Forming KK125 was a positive way to project our anger with the horrible disease that took our mothers,” King said. “We want to make sure this doesn’t happen to our wives, sisters and friends.”

The gift will support research for CA-125, a protein long recognized for its role in predicting ovarian cancer recurrence. The protein now shows promise as a screening tool for early-stage disease.

“This is an incredible gesture of support by Reps. King and Kacal. Their leadership and passion for ovarian cancer research and advances will make a difference for our patients and their families,” said Ron DePinho, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “We’re proud to work together to make a decisive assault on this terrible disease.”

“MD Anderson is where cancers come to die,” said Kacal. “There isn’t a better partner to find a cure for ovarian cancer.”

The representatives, their families, MD Anderson care teams and Sloan’s family and friends attended a Dec. 15 check presentation at MD Anderson. DePinho thanked the KK125 board members for their generosity and recognized the extraordinary efforts of the caregivers of the women who inspired the foundation.  

KK125 friends and board members who were present include:

    • Rep. Kacal: co-founder of KK125

  • • Rep. King: co-founder of KK125
    • Michelle Wittenburg: foundation president
    • Amy Coiner: foundation vice president
    • Kimberly Lowery: foundation secretary
    • Jerry Kacal: Rep. Kacal’s father
    • Buddy King: Rep. King’s father
    • John and Karen Sloan: Andrea Sloan’s parents