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Since its inception in 1993, more than $50 million has been donated towards first step breast cancer research.

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Why FFANY Funds Could Help Patients 'Tear' Up

Powerful breakthrough-research gives patients something good to cry about.

As seen in Footwear News – May 30, 2016

The blood, sweat and tears that have characterized cancer research too often left the last of these for the end – it was all over but for the crying. But if ongoing clinical tests at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock keep proving positive, the tears will happily flow first.

That’s because researchers at the Rockefeller Institute, which has received more than $5.5 million in more than two decades of cancer-research-funding from the Fashion Footwear Association of New York via QVC Presents “FFANY Shoes on Sale,” have discovered that the protein in tears has a high sensitivity to diagnosing breast cancer – more sensitive than mammograms.

“This is a pretty big, darn deal,” characterized Dr. V. Suzanne Klimberg, the director of the Rockefeller Institute’s Breast Cancer Program and the Muriel Balsam Kohn Chair in Breast Cancer Oncology at UAMS. And the clinical tear studies comprise only one of the ongoing cancer-research efforts at Arkansas funded by “FFANY Shoes on Sale.”

“We just love FFANY,” Klimberg said. “They have helped us so much. They took a chance with us, and it’s paid off. FFANY gets money into researchers’ hands. There’s no restriction on FFANY money as there is with a lot of funding. Plus, FFANY enables other funding avenues to open up. Once the other sources see that FFANY money has led to success, then those sources contribute to make that success a bigger success.” Collaborations result—FFANY monies helped Arkansas trade data and advance programs with researchers in Michigan,
St. Louis and Los Angeles.

“We have used FFANY funding for different purposes,” said Dr. Peter Emanuel, director of the Rockefeller Institute. “Our successes with that funding include a vaccine that was designed for women with metastatic cancer,” he said, citing the battle against types of the disease that migrate from one organ or body system to another.

Research funds are made possible by dedicated FFANY member donors such as Dansko, which has supported this effort for over a decade. “It’s deeply rewarding to see how donations from companies like Dansko—among many others in our industry— can support the critical early research work needed to understand the causes and effective treatments of cancer,” said Mandy Cabot, CEO of Dansko. “As the number one type of cancer faced by women, breast cancer hits home for far too many of us. On a personal level, not only have my aunt and my sister been diagnosed with the disease, but so too have more than a few of our employees. Our collective donations of shoes through ‘FFANY Shoes on Sale’ bring us that many steps closer to understanding the causes—and cure—for breast cancer. We are honored to be part of this auspicious movement.”

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