Supporters Dig Deep

Read why some of our donors are so passionate about meeting the Knight Cancer Challenge.
Genevieve with radiation specialists John Holland, M.D., (left) and Aaron Martin.

Genevieve Olson Rocha, age 8, raised $710 in support of the Knight Cancer Challenge by making and selling rainbow bracelets in honor of her grandfather Dino Rocha who is undergoing cancer treatment at OHSU. 

Genevieve’s family hadn’t heard about the Knight Cancer Challenge when Genevieve started her fundraiser, but Dino Rocha mentioned Genevieve’s project to an OHSU nurse and joked, “Now we just need to find a rich guy to match the gift.” That’s when he learned about Phil and Penny Knight’s Challenge and, as luck would have it, there really was a guy to match the gift. Genevieve knows who Phil Knight is and is “super excited” that her gift will count toward the challenge. 

Ross Lienhart and Sheila Edwards-Lienhart

“Sheila and I wanted to help OHSU to bring in the country’s top researchers to work together on breakthrough science in cancer.” 

– Ross Lienhart 

Sheila Edwards-Lienhart was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 49 and passed away 10 years later when the cancer spread to her liver. She came to OHSU at the end of her cancer journey, where she received excellent care from Frederick Keller, M.D., and others at the Knight Cancer Institute. When OHSU announced the Knight Cancer Challenge, Sheila was very excited about the promise she saw in the work of Brian Druker, M.D. She and her husband, Ross Lienhart, decided to make a seven-figure gift to the challenge, to support research into more targeted therapies that help patients avoid chemotherapy. 

Susan and Paxson Offield

Paxson Offield’s family foundation was already an essential supporter of Dr. Brian Druker’s cancer research – it has donated $550,000 in the last two years. With the announcement of the Knight Cancer Challenge, Offield saw a new opportunity to speed progress. This spring, Offield gave an additional $5 million gift to the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, to advance research on acute myeloid leukemia (AML). 

“There is no better institution for the care of a person with leukemia than the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, and I can speak to that first hand,” said Offield. “I have no doubt in my mind that the best chance to cure AML and all blood cancers will come from Dr. Druker and the team he has established at the Knight Cancer Institute.”