Cancer Has Met Its Match

Rising to the challenge

OHSU Extra, Summer 2014

Phil and Penny Knight knew what they were doing when they offered up the impossible-sounding prize we now call the Knight Cancer Challenge ($500 million if OHSU can raise an additional $500 million in two years). Galvanized by OHSU’s vision to end cancer as we know it and spurred by a new sense of urgency, 5,600 people from all over the nation have already stepped up to be part of this historic campaign. As of this printing, OHSU has raised just over $312 million, including $200 million in state funding from the Oregon legislature. 

“This is the most ambitious fundraising campaign the philanthropic community has ever seen, and it is inspiring Oregon donors to do more than ever,” said L. Keith Todd, president of the OHSU Foundation. “Just two months after the announcement, the Oregon Community Foundation donated $1 million – the largest directed gift in its 40-year history. That’s just one example of hundreds of wonderfully inspired gifts.” 

With just a year and a half to go, OHSU will need help from both loyal supporters and those who have never donated before – or even heard of us. Enter world-famous ad agency Wieden + Kennedy. It has already donated hundreds of hours of creative brainpower to the advertising campaign that is introducing OHSU to a national audience. See the sidebar on page 7 for details on the OneDown campaign that launched in May. 

 Why does OHSU need to raise $1 billion? To create an environment where the best minds can work together to tackle the biggest challenge in cancer research today: finding smarter, more reliable ways to detect the most lethal cancers early, before they become deadly. OHSU will bring together 20 to 30 of the world’s leading scientific teams and free them from distractions (like grant writing) so they can go after cancer as aggressively as it comes after us. Revolutionizing early detection means patients will live longer and suffer less. 

“This $1 billion cancer program will allow OHSU to serve Oregonians – and cancer patients around the world – in ways that would not have been possible, otherwise. We are immensely grateful for the outpouring of support,” said OHSU President Joe Robertson, M.D., M.B.A. 

Are You In? 

Please consider participating in the Knight Cancer Challenge if you haven’t done so already. Our team would be happy to talk you through all the possible ways to donate – from multi-year pledges to gifts of assets. You can also help keep the momentum going by holding your own fundraiser, sharing your story on social media, and connecting us with others who may be interested. This is our big chance. We’ve got less than two years. Together, we can make cancer the victim. 

Donate today.

Start a personal fundraising page. 

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Search for OHSUKnight 

For more information call 503 228-1730; 800 462-6608 or email