Jeff Monzingo would love for you to ask him about his son, Cory.
“We talk about Cory just like he was here yesterday,” says Monzingo.
Cory had just turned 19 and was starting his sophomore year at Texas A&M University in 2008. After feeling ill for weeks, Cory headed with his family to the emergency room. A CT scan revealed dozens of tumors up and down his abdomen.
Cory was diagnosed with desmoplastic small round cell tumors (DSRCT), a rare soft-tissue sarcoma. Part of his treatment included hyperthermic peritoneal perfusion with chemotherapy, a surgical procedure pioneered at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, with Andrea Hayes-Jordan, M.D., section chief of Pediatric Surgery.
“He never gave up. He never acknowledged that it was going to get him,” says Monzingo. “You have to keep living life. Cory inspired us in that way. Do stuff – don’t wait.”
After Cory died in December 2010, the Monzingos established The Cory Douglas Monzingo Endowment for DSRCT Research. Two years later, the Cory Monzingo Foundation was created to provide more support for DSRCT research.
“We felt we weren’t doing enough to help other people fighting this,” says Monzingo. “There’s no cure and there’s limited treatment. We wanted to contribute extra funds to provide Dr. Hayes-Jordan with the support she needs to find a cure.”
The foundation holds a dinner and dance every year around the time of Cory’s August birthday. The event and online donations will provide $325,000 in support for Hayes-Jordan’s research over the next five years.