ESPN and the late Jim Valvano created The V Foundation in 1993. Valvano,
the legendary NC State basketball coach and ESPN broadcaster, won the
hearts of sports fans across the country when his underdog NC State
Wolfpack captured the NCAA Basketball Championship in an upset win in
Ten years later, he inspired millions more with his memorable speech
at the inaugural ESPY Awards. A gravely ill Valvano entertained, amused
and captured the imagination of a worldwide audience. He announced the
creation of The V Foundation for Cancer Research and proclaimed “Don’t
Give Up. . .Don’t Ever Give Up!”® as the motto in the
fight against the disease that ultimately claimed him at the age of
47 after a brief and very public 10-month battle.
Since then, the Foundation that was conceived by a small group of Jim’s
friends and colleagues has grown to include donors and volunteers nationwide.
Since 1993, The V Foundation has raised more than $45 million and awarded
more than 200 research grants.
Perhaps most impressive of all is that today The V Foundation still
operates with a small staff, a nationwide volunteer network and an all-volunteer
Board of Directors and Scientific Review Committee, assuring that over
the past five years an average of 83 cents of every dollar raised has
been available to fund cancer research.
Today Jim Valvano’s friends and colleagues are joined by new
friends and additional volunteers who contribute time, efforts and donations,
both large and small, in the hope that Jim’s final dream will
become a reality, that victims will become survivors, and that the disease
that claims so many of our loved ones, will devastate no more.
Where Does the Money Go?
The V Foundation seeks out promising young scientists from the finest
research facilities across the country who need early developmental,
critical-stage grant support. These V Scholars are the backbone of our
research team. Additionally, the V Foundation-AACR Grants in Translational
Cancer Research Program advances research further, preparing to take
it from the laboratories, and bridge into clinics and the hands of doctors
treating patients. Finally, the Designated Grant Program aims specific
monies toward specialized cancer interests, or perhaps to a precise
geographical area, often the same as where the funding was generated.
What does the future bring?
Research to improve quality of life, extend remission, and bring undiminished
hope to the lives of cancer survivors. We must continue to fund essential
research that will ultimately identify the causes and develop the cures
to eliminate this disease.