CHICAGO –Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today awarded Ticket for the Cure grants totaling $1.5 million to researchers at five Illinois universities. Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold made the announcement at the University of Chicago, which is receiving a total of $425,000 to four researchers to find new methods to detect, prevent, screen and treat breast cancer.
Launched in January 2006, Ticket for the Cure is the nation’s first lottery ticket dedicated to helping fund breast cancer research, early detection, education and patient services throughout the state. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from Ticket for the Cure support programs and research initiatives.
“Since we expanded the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program last October to all women, more than 7,000 women have signed up to take advantage of potentially life-saving screenings and treatment. These grants build on our efforts to make sure women to receive the best preventative, detection and treatment options that new research can offer,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
Last year, 52 Illinois organizations were awarded a total of $2.8 million in Ticket for the Cure community program grants to further breast cancer education efforts and to help provide supportive services for breast cancer victims and their families.
“So many lives are touched by breast cancer. Almost all of us know of someone affected by breast cancer. These Ticket for the Cure grants will help researchers find new ways to help reduce the number of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer or find better treatments so that women don’t have to suffer and their chance of survival increase,” said Dr. Arnold.
“The invaluable aspect of this funding from Ticket from the Cure proceeds is that it will allow us to pursue a more innovative approach to predicting, and hopefully preventing, breast cancer metastasis than would be possible with federal funds due to the limitations on funding criteria and the current research funding crisis,” said Kay MacLeod, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Ben May Department for Cancer Research at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Net revenue from the sale of Ticket for the Cure is deposited into an interest bearing account in the State Treasury called the Ticket for the Cure Fund. The Illinois General Assembly appropriates this money solely to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), which awards grants to public and private entities in Illinois. The Ticket for the Cure Board, a special advisory board, reviews and approves all grants funded by Ticket for the Cure revenue.
“As a husband of a two time breast cancer survivor, I know the critical need for research funding. Every dollar toward breast cancer research brings us closer to improved treatment as well as finding the cause and cure,” said Leonard Thomas, Chair of the “Ticket for the Cure” Board.
Women can find out how to get breast and cervical cancer screenings and treatment through Governor Blagojevich’s Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program by logging on to www.cancerscreening.illinois.gov
. For more information on women’s health and programs visit www.idph.state.il.us
or call the Women’s Health Line at 888-522-1282. For TTY (hearing impaired use only) call 800-547-0466.
Illinois Department of Public Health