Andrew McCullough Jr. of Houston is chair-elect of the Advance Team, an advisory board dedicated to raising awareness of the Children's Cancer Hospital at MD Anderson.
My mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1995 and died in 1997. While she was at MD Anderson, I felt a strong connection to the institution. My family and I got to know the staff and the volunteers on a first-name basis. They were always there to make us feel comfortable, answer our questions or offer a smile. I've come to realize, after talking to other families who've been to MD Anderson, that there's this incredible bond with the people there, whatever the outcome. I cherish this institution, where the whole idea is hope.
My mother's doctor found her cancer by chance, and it was already Stage IV when she was diagnosed. Prior to her passing, we created a fund in her name, the Bettyann Asche Murray Distinguished Professorship in Ovarian Cancer Research at MD Anderson. I wanted to raise money for ovarian cancer research to help improve detection methods and survival rates, which at the time were not very good and have gotten only slightly better. It's a steep, uphill battle. We'll get there, though slowly.
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