carol m. baldwin
Carol Baldwin.

Cancer research comes at a cost, and one Long Island organization has been footing the bill for scientists studying breast cancer at Stony Brook University Cancer Center for 25 years.

The Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund has raised and donated more than $5 million to Stony Brook’s researchers since the fund’s inception in 1996. Breast cancer survivor Carol Baldwin, Dr. Michael Maffetone at Stony Brook, Joan Hudson, and Lorraine Pace teamed up to open the fund, which actively held fundraising events and campaigns until the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

“Since the pandemic, a lot of the fundraising has dried up,” says Ellen Burke, board member and treasurer of the fund. “So we’re always looking for donations from anybody who would like to give us money.”

This year, however, the fund held its golf outing on Sept. 20 at Westhampton Country Club. It will also participate in the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 7 with at least 20 runners who will raise money for the fund. This event typically brings in about $40,000, says Burke, a breast cancer survivor who began volunteering for the fund in 1997 and joined the board in 2007.

“We’ve had trouble since the pandemic and now we’re hoping that things are starting to turn around,” she says.

Each year, the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Foundation awards five seed grants to Stony Brook scientists to work on research projects, some of which go on to receive larger grants from national organizations.

“All the money goes to research,” Burke says. “Five awards each year are granted to the research proposals for the scientists at Stony Brook Hospital.”

The organization holds an annual conference to award grants and for researchers to present their findings. For example, in 2019, a team of Stony Brook scientists revealed that they had identified a gene that could be used to treat triple-negative breast cancer. The research was funded by the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, along with other donor organizations.

For more information or to donate, visit https://findacure.org.

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