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Stupid Strong 5th Anniversary Event Raises Over $285,000 To Support Gastric Cancer Research

Stupid Strong Charitable Foundation Celebrated 5 Years of Advocacy and Funding Research

DALLAS, Nov. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Stupid Strong Charitable Foundation (SSCF) celebrated its Annual Fall Fundraising Event on Saturday, November 2, 2019, at Legends Hall at the Marq, Southlake, Texas. With over 300 guests, more than $285,000 was raised to fund research and support stomach cancer patients and families worldwide. Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour, silent and live auctions, dinner, awards ceremony, casino games and a live painting exhibition performed by world-renowned speed painter Michael Israel. Jeff Netzer, President of Stupid Strong, served as host for the evening and led guests through an incredible night of entertainment and fun in celebration of the event themed as "The 5th Anniversary Vegas Party and Casino Night."

(PRNewsfoto/Stupid Strong)

Jody Kalman and Ashley Elmore served as co-chairs of this year's event for the sixth consecutive year. "Leading the Fall event each year is an honor that I will always cherish, but this year is special as we celebrated five years of making a difference," said Kalman, also a member of SSCF's Board of Directors. "It makes me feel proud to know that Stupid Strong will continue its relentless commitment to finding a cure for this disease through honoring the legacy of my dear friend Candace Netzer, who founded the organization."

Event sponsors included Title Sponsor The Netzer Family Foundation; Casino Sponsor Playstudios; Automotive Sponsor Sewell Automotive; VIP Table Sponsors Edward Jones Financial Advisor Dave Van Buskirk, Haggar Clothing, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation Loan Officer Greg Ulrich, Ashton Wynn Construction, John and Cheryl LaLonde; Auction Sponsors Hashem Orthodontics, Bates Family Foundation, Scott and Kathy Decker, Jason and Katrina Epps, and Marc and Kimberly Snell; as well as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.

This year, SSCF honored the following individuals for their incredible dedication to serving others through the Community Partner Award: Julie and Dave Van Buskirk. The couple received the traditional Orrefors Heart Bowl to recognize their generosity and kind spirit.

"Stupid Strong has awarded over $400,000 to fund gastric cancer research to date," said Vice-President (and event co-chair) Ashley Elmore. "This is of critical importance because gastric cancer receives so little funding. The money we raised this evening will make a tremendous impact. We greatly appreciate the support of our host committee, sponsors, donors and guests in helping us achieve this great milestone."

Earlier this year, Stupid Strong officially awarded The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center its newly formed Seed Research Grant. This institutional grant will fund proposals at a level up to $100,000 per award. The purpose of the seed grants is to provide pilot funds for research in both basic and clinical gastric cancer-related problems. It is expected that this seed money will allow for the development of nationally recognized identification methods and innovative, customized treatment techniques.

This inaugural year's recipient is Dr. Jaffer Ajani, professor of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology at MD Anderson. The $100,000 grant from Stupid Strong Charitable Foundation will be used solely and exclusively for Dr. Ajani's research by incubating his Intraperitoneal Program. Gastric cancer (GEA) particularly spreads to peritoneal cavity (which is the space in our abdomen where colon, small intestines, stomach, and other organs reside). Once GEA spreads to the peritoneal cavity, the cancer becomes terminal for the patient. They are unable to eat, lose muscle mass, require repeated fluid removal, have electrolyte imbalances, and suffer from malnutrition. Current research is very limited. The team at MD Anderson has assembled an outstanding group of scientists to carry out extensive investigations to identify new targets for therapy for these patients.

Stupid Strong is honored to partner with Dr. Ajani on his important work related to gastro-esophageal cancers and excited to see meaningful progress for this critically under-funded cancer type. With this gift, Stupid Strong honors their Founder Candace Netzer, who was a patient of Dr. Ajani's before she passed away in 2017 from her own intraperitoneal complications associated with this dreaded disease.

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About Stupid Strong Charitable Foundation
Stupid Strong is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about gastric cancer, advancing funding for research, and providing education and support to families in need. Stupid Strong exists for the purpose of making the cure for gastric cancer a reality. Learn more at: www.stupidstrong.org.

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