For Sheila and Jordan “Jerry” Reese of Houston, the connection to Making Cancer History® goes far deeper than her membership on the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors. Inspired in part by the care Jerry’s mother received at the institution, the couple recently donated $500,000 to support the Breast and Ovarian Cancers Moon Shot.
A plaque at the G19 Quiet Family Waiting Area commemorates their devotion to MD Anderson. It reads: The Sheila and Jordan Reese, III Waiting Area is dedicated to the memory of Edith Hughes Reese, with appreciation for the research in triple-negative breast cancer and high-grade serous ovarian cancer.
“Because Jerry’s mother died from triple-negative breast cancer, we wanted to specifically support this area of cancer research,” Sheila says. “Even though there’s been amazing progress in treatment, there’s so much more to do, so why not shoot for the moon?”
Anil Sood, M.D., professor and vice chair for translational research in Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine, is one of the leaders of the Breast and Ovarian Cancers Moon Shot.
Pointing out that philanthropic gifts are what make progressive research such as the Moon Shots Program possible, Sood says this gift “will have a significant impact on research.”
“This isn’t something we can do by writing an NIH grant,” he says. “We really need private funding to make it happen.”
The Reeses are proud to be a part of what they believe is exciting and essential research.
“The introduction of the Moon Shots Program is an important initiative to energize and further cancer research,” Sheila says. “We’re so fortunate to have MD Anderson in our community, and we felt it was our privilege to support this program.”
The Breast and Ovarian Cancers Moon Shot offers personalized genetic screening and counseling to triple-negative breast cancer and high-grade serous ovarian cancer patients. The goal is to determine if they or their family members have BRCA gene mutations that might lead to these cancers, which share underlying molecular events and other similarities.