Champion PGA golfer Fred Couples has designated $25,000 in charitable contributions to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, Couples and the organization confirmed.
The donation comes from Couples’ earnings at the 2011 Presidents Cup tournament.
The tournament doesn’t allow players to get paid but permits players to designate the funds towards the charities of their choice. Couples, the U.S. team captain, made a gift for mesothelioma research in memory of George Elo, who died from the cancer.
In all, the PGA Tour announced, proceeds from the 2011 Presidents Cup tournament resulted in a total of $4.5 million raised for various charitable organizations.
Couples, a 15-time winner on the tour and one-time major winner, is being praised by many within the community because there is a tremendous need for research dollars into this cancer.
Research funding will help doctors find a cure for this aggressive disease, in addition to more effective treatment options.
Caused by exposure to asbestos, mesothelioma has few effective treatment options. Currently, surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are the preferred methods of treatment, yet they all typically result in minimally effective results.
For a disease with such a negative prognosis, some would expect more funding to be regularly contributed to research. However, funding from governmental entities and individual donations for mesothelioma dwarf in comparison to other cancers.
Between 2004 and 2007, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) invested less than $6 million towards mesothelioma research.
Conversely, other cancers received exponentially more in funding. For example, in 2009, the NCI invested $685 million towards research for breast cancer.
Some critics account the low-affected population of patients as part of the reason why funding remains relatively low. Even so, there is no dispute about the necessity for more funding.
Finding more effective treatments require the production and testing of new drugs, in addition to the testing of experimental treatment options. Much of this must be done through clinical trials, which requires further funding for recruitment of test subjects and execution of the study.
Funding donations like the one from the Presidents Cup will help make this happen.
Couples’ charitable gift to MARF will help patients and doctors by supporting research to find a cure. This organization, in addition to Asbestos.com, is a leading resource for all mesothelioma-related topics.
In addition to the gift provided to MARF, Couples also donated gifts to 13 other charities.