The largest individual donation in UH history was awarded as part of its $1 billion capital campaign, which was launched in 2003 and has generated more than $780 million in donations. The Fowlers' lead gift, which was made in honor of their daughter, who died of melanoma at the age of 14, will be used to establish the Angie Fowler Child and Young Adult Cancer Institute. The institute will draw upon UH's existing cancer resources, including the new UH Seidman Cancer Center, and will include an outpatient treatment facility and an expanded inpatient unit for pediatric and young adult patients.
According to UH, cancer remains the leading cause of death for children and young adults between the ages of 15 and 39. While advances in cancer care have been made in recent years, the survival rate for young adults and older teenagers has seen little improvement. "We do not know why survival rates have been stagnant for this age group, but some of the identifiable factors include biological differences of cancer in young adults versus older adults, less participation in clinical trials, delayed diagnoses, and the reality that young adults are more likely to be uninsured," said Dr. John J. Letterio, chief of hematology/oncology at UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital. "With this meaningful gift in Angie's memory, and our partnership with the UH Seidman Cancer Center, it is our hope to dig deeper into these factors, increase the number of young adults in clinical trials, and ultimately, improve those survival rates."