Cancer Patients in Need of Additional Space: Focus of This Year's "Heart of Doernbecher" Fundraiser

10/16/03    Portland, Ore.

Doernbecher Children's Hospital has emerged as the region's premier place to receive family-oriented, state-of-the-art treatment for children with cancer. More than 80 percent of Oregon's young cancer patients get their treatment at Doernbecher, with patient volumes quadrupling during the past five years.

The cancer facilities at Doernbecher are overflowing - and projections indicate that patient volumes will continue to grow during the next 10 years. As a result, efforts are under way to expand the Kenneth W. Ford Northwest Children's Cancer Center at Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

The cancer center expansion will receive the proceeds from this year's Heart of Doernbecher Dinner and Auction. This sixth annual event will be held 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 1 in the Portland Ballroom at the Oregon Convention Center. General tickets are $175 each, and patron tickets are $250.

Honorary chairman of this year's Heart of Doernbecher event is Brian Druker, M.D., JELD-WEN Chair of Leukemia Research at the OHSU Cancer Institute and a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator. Druker is internationally known for his role in developing Gleevec, the "miracle" drug that has been used successfully to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and that shows great promise in treating other types of cancer as well.

Participating in the evening's program will be 8-year-old Katie Knutson of Milwaukie, a patient of Druker's who takes Gleevec as part of her successful treatment at Doernbecher for CML.

The evening's events will include silent and live auctions that feature a wide range of interesting items, including: fine artwork, a tea party with former Miss America Katie Harman, trip packages, design and home remodeling consultations, symphony and theater performances, a float plane ride, private winery tours and restaurant gift certificates.

Plans for the $13.6 million expansion of the Kenneth W. Ford Northwest Children's Cancer Center at Doernbecher include: a new 22-bed inpatient unit, a 10-bed outpatient infusion center for chemotherapy treatments, an enlarged outpatient clinic, four pediatric intensive care rooms and relocation of crucial support services.

The Ford Family Foundation of Roseburg has committed to matching up to $2 million of the funds raised for the cancer center expansion.

For further information or to purchase tickets, call 503-220-8344.