Wil VanLoh, president and CEO of Quantum Energy Partners in Houston, fondly recalls playing catch and kicking soccer balls with his dad, Sidney VanLoh, who enjoyed mentoring young men about hard work, determination and sportsmanship, both on the field and off. When he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, it was a difficult diagnosis for everyone.
To express gratitude for the institution’s dedication to changing the course of cancer, the younger VanLoh and his wife, Jennifer, made a strategic gift to MD Anderson’s Pancreatic Cancer Moon Shot. The VanLohs are inspired by the moon shot’s focus on early detection and more effective treatments.
“My family’s personal experience gave us a unique view of just how special this institution is,” says VanLoh, who joined the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors in 2015. “Every doctor, surgeon and nurse we encountered exuded compassion and professionalism, along with a never-give-up attitude. MD Anderson’s multidisciplinary, functional team approach will radically change the course of cancer care and treatment over the next decade.”
Jason Fleming, M.D., professor of Surgical Oncology and the elder VanLoh’s doctor, is among the team leading the Pancreatic Cancer Moon Shot. Its recent advances include establishing MD Anderson’s first pancreatic cancer high-risk clinic for screening and counseling.
“At this point there’s no real method for early detection, such as mammograms to detect breast cancer, or any meaningful intervention,” says Fleming. “This is the genesis of a high-risk clinic, one of only a handful in the country. With the potential to have a significant impact on the lives of thousands of people, this clinic will allow those with inherent risks to be tracked, traced and mapped. It’s truly transformative.”