Stopping Cancer Early – The Best Possible Investment



    Archive for 2012

    Success! Canary Challenge Roundup Raises Funds for Cancer Research, Early Cancer Detection

    October 3, 2012

    Here at Canary Foundation we’re celebrating the success of another exceptional Canary Challenge race! We had a great time, and judging from the smiles we saw, you did too.

    Canary Foundation is the world’s first non-profit organization dedicated solely to the funding, discovery, and development of tests for early cancer detection. Canary Foundation is dedicated to delivering early detection tests for solid cancer tumors by 2015.

    We are so thankful for all the sponsor companies and volunteers whose generous contributions made the day a success – we really couldn’t have done it without you.

    In the meantime, here are a couple of shots from the race for those of us who weren’t able to join us. For a full photo gallery, check out the slideshow on the Canary Facebook Page.

    Canary Foundation volunteers at Rest Stop 2, where they helped hydrate and feed cyclists in need of a break.

    Vanderkitten cyclist Maura Kinsella racing along.

    Canary Founder Don Listwin with son Hunter gave riders words of encouragement before the race.


    What Will Cancer Early Detection Look Like?

    September 18, 2012

    Co- authored by Abbie Lieberman.

    Imagine the year is 2030. Jane Doe has been feeling under the weather and is experiencing unfamiliar stomach pain. Her doctor sends her a portable, at-home screening kit that can test for multiple conditions including a variety of cancers. She takes a picture of the results using her smart device and sends them off to her doctor. A day later in the clinic, her doctor informs her that she has the earliest stages of ovarian cancer detectable. In this future time, Jane’s cancer cells are removed quickly and she is out of danger. In such a world, cancer is found early and is eliminated or reduced to a chronic illness, rarely being a fatal disease. Jane is closely monitored from this time forward and she goes on to live a long and happy life.

    When cancer early detection tools become a reality, cancer screenings will change drastically and so will the impact of this disease on human life. Cancer could be re-categorized to become a condition or a disease swiftly dealt with, with fewer side effects or damage to the body. However, at-home tests to detect cancer early could be a long way off in the future. Is there something we can believe in without waiting for the Jane Doe scenario to come about?

    In the more near-term, Canary researchers foresee important steps becoming practiced in our lifetime. A patient will most likely go into a doctor’s office, and get an extensive panel of blood work done at an annual exam. If the results are positive, an imaging test will be conducted to determine exactly where the cancer cells are. We already know this truth: when found early, a tumor can be removed or treated before it spreads. The patient’s survival rate increases to 90% (generalized) compared to the 10% survival rate when found late (today’s norm). More »

    Lawrence Viariseo Rides the Canary Challenge

    September 13, 2012

    Lawrence Viariseo has survived falling off a 100-foot cliff and breaking his back, paralysis from the waist down and bladder cancer. At 53, the Palo Alto native is voluntarily embarking on another challenge — a 100-mile bike trip to raise money for cancer research.

    Viariseo biked in the Canary Challenge, a fundraiser for the Stanford Cancer Institute. The ride will goes from Palo Alto to Skyline Boulevard, through Pescadero and San Gregorio, onto state Route 1 and back down to Palo Alto.

    In this video, he talks about his commitment to the Canary Foundation, and encourages other riders to get involved, help fundraise, and ride in the race.

    To learn more about the Canary Challenge, visit To read more about Lawrence riding the Canary Challenge, read “A measure of his heart,” an article published by Palo Alto Online.

    Nicole Urban on Canary’s Ovarian Cancer Research Program

    September 6, 2012

    Nicole Urban, Ovarian Cancer Team Co-leader at the Canary Center and investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, provides viewers with an overview and the goals for Canary’s Ovarian Cancer Research Program. She also explains how working on collaborative research initiatives with Canary Foundation helps push her research to the next level.

    Canary Challenge Update: Did You Know…?

    August 31, 2012

    Cyclists who have been training (hopefully!) and fundraising for weeks will descend upon the campus of VMware in Palo Also to ride in the Canary Challenge 2012 in September.  The Canary Challenge is one of the most picturesque rides on the west coast—going from the foothills of Palo Alto & Woodside, to Pescadero, out to the Pacific Ocean.

    The Canary Challenge benefits the Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI) and 100% of funds raised will be donated to the SCI for cancer research and innovative clinical programs.

    The one-day ride is a fully supported ride that includes great food, generous amenities, stocked rest stops, SAG vehicles, medical support, spirited festivities, and wine & beer garden, and a community of riders who have been touched one way or another by cancer.  Learn more about the Canary Challenge on our website.

    Some interesting facts about the Canary Challenge: Did You Know . . ?

    • The male to female rider ratio this year is 2: 1.  In 2011, it was 3:1.  What an increase in women riders!
    • The two biggest teams are Canary Chicks with 27 riders (4 male riders!) and Team Lauren (in support of LPCH) with 24 riders.
    • A bake sale can raise a lot of money! Avaya The Power of WeTM team held a bake sale at their corporate headquarters during the lunch hour and raised $1,343 in 3 hours. More »

    Early Cancer Detection Research at Canary Center New Horizon: Move to Porter Drive

    August 24, 2012

    Here at the Canary Center, we’re greatly looking forward to moving to the new Porter Drive facility in summer 2013. The necessity of growing the Canary Center has been in discussions for a long time— now that the move is on the horizon, Canary Center is preparing for the short-distance move to a new long-term home.

    The new Porter Drive facilities are part of a Technology and Innovation Park. The technology park fosters entrepreneurship, innovation, and a greater sense of community. What can you expect? More convenient transportation to and from the technology park, more centralized planning, campus-like amenities including a gym and cafeteria- in short, the kind of facilities that indicate a thriving work community. Above all, this new technology park will provide us with the opportunity to facilitate necessary growth for the Canary Center. More »

    How Long Have We Been Plagued by Cancer?

    August 13, 2012

    Written by guest blogger and Canary Intern Abbie Lieberman, who researched and wrote this brief history.

    Although there has been a surge in the prevalence of cancer in recent decades, cancer has actually been affecting people for centuries. The first documented case of cancer comes from ancient Egypt. According to the American Cancer Society, there are eight documented cases of breast cancer found on papyrus dating all the way back to 3000 B.C. Even the term cancer has been around for centuries— Hippocrates, the Greek physician who is widely considered the Father of Medicine, used the words carcinos and carcinoma to describe tumors. These Greek terms were also used to describe the crab because Hippocrates thought that tumors resembled crabs.

    Two views of Clara Jacobi, a Dutch woman who had a tumor removed from
    her neck in 1689. Includes text which describes the tumor and its removal.

    Despite its long history, cancer is often considered a modern disease because its impact on modern society is much more substantial than its impact on previous peoples. In Steve Shapin’s article Cancer World, he expresses his view that “the rise in cancer mortality is, in its way, very good news.” Although this statement may seem unsettling, he does make a strong point. Part of the reason cancer has become a primary cause of death in the United States is because we live so much longer than we used to.  As a society we are more protected against sweeping infectious diseases; we live long enough for cancer to express itself.  Shapin traces our modern fight against cancer back to 1971 when President Nixon declared the War on Cancer. Even though the United States (or any country) has yet to win the “war,” this political effort did successfully strengthen the national effort against cancer. More »

    Canary Interview with Robert Lynch, CEO of Lumber Liquidators

    August 6, 2012

    Robert Lynch sits on the Board of Directors at Canary Foundation. He has been the President, Chief Executive Officer, and a Director of Lumber Liquidators since January 2012. In this interview, Rob tells us about the history of his involvement with Canary Foundation. 

    Q: How and why did you get involved with Canary?

    In 2005, I was the CEO of Orchard Supply Hardware, and I was invited to participate in the Canary Gala that was part of the San Jose Grand Prix. At that time, it was their main fundraiser. I was inspired by Canary’s strategy, mission, and vision—I was personally moved and immediately wanted to become involved.

    At the time, Orchard Supply Hardware supported City of Hope through an annual golf tournament; each year we raised about half a million dollars for them. I wanted to get involved with a more local organization, because we were based in the Bay Area. I decided that I wanted use our annual golf fundraiser to support Canary instead of City of Hope.

    I bumped into Don with his son at a basketball game the following year. I reintroduced myself to him and communicated I wanted the golfing fundraiser to support Canary instead of City of Hope. His eyes lit up. The rest is history: the fundraiser went to Canary, I joined the board, and I’ve been involved ever since.

    Q: You mentioned that one of the reasons you got involved with Canary is because it was local, but now you’re with Lumber Liquidators on the East Coast. Why did you stick with Canary?

    I’m still involved because I believe strongly in what they do. Ultimately, the attraction wasn’t so much that it was local in terms of physical location. I wanted to be involved in an organization that had a real community, a place where I could really roll up my sleeves and get involved. More »

    How to Raise $400 in 5 Days

    July 24, 2012

    It’s 10 weeks until the Canary Challenge and you haven’t raised the $400 minimum.  You still have plenty of time but you have to get busy and start reaching out to your network.  Here’s an easy way to raise $400 in 5 days.  5 days!

    Day 1:  Donate $50 to yourself.                                                                               $50

    Day 2:  Ask your housemate/spouse/partner to donate $50                           $100

    Day 3:  Ask two relatives to donate $50 each                                                    $200

    Day 4:  Ask two friends to donate $50 each                                                       $300

    Day 5 (Backup)Ask two neighbors/colleagues for $50 each             Total: $400

    Top fundraisers have found letter writing campaigns very successful.  Write a letter or email friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors to let them know what you’re doing and ask them to donate to you.  Tell your story, why you are doing the Canary Challenge, where the money goes and why this is important to you.  Remember: always send a thank you note to your donors.

    The Stanford Dish and Cancer Detection Connection

    July 18, 2012

    Co- authored by Abbie Lieberman.

    Most of us who live or spend time on the San Francisco peninsula are familiar with the Stanford dish. The Dish, visible off interstate 280 near the Alpine Road exit, was built in 1966 by the Stanford Research Institute and spans 150 feet in diameter. The United States Air Force originally funded the project to study the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Its role has changed over the years, but the Dish is still actively used to conduct an array of research. In his book, The End of Medicine (Collins, 2006) author Andy Kessler, a Silicon Valley local, mentions the Stanford Dish as he explored advances in medical technology that he hopes will fundamentally change the way our health care system works. He stumbles upon an intriguing relationship between the dish and cancer research.

    More »