The Mary Kay Foundation Funds Cancer Breakthrough

Jul 16, 2014 10:05 AM ET

Beauty That Counts

There are very few people who haven’t been touched by cancer in some way. Family, friends, a neighbor down the street… cancer affects us all. The fight to understand cancer in hopes of eliminating the disease is a long road, but researchers are committed to discovering answers, one cell at a time. 

The Mary Kay Foundation is helping scientists who are researching cancers affecting women. Since 2003, they have awarded more than $20 million to support the work of the 100 top ovarian, uterine, breast and cervical cancer researchers across the U.S.

While it’s true that every breakthrough is important, a research team at Johns Hopkins Medicine led by Dr. Andrew Ewald, a cell and cancer biologist, might have a real game changer. Dr. Ewald is studying how breast cancer cells spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body and explains his latest findings, in a way we can all understand, by using Play-Doh. He says, “if we can figure out how to stop it [from spreading] in one sub-type, it could be useful for treating all patients.”

With research like Dr. Ewald’s, it is encouraging to see what answers our grantees from The Mary Kay Foundation come up with next. Twelve new research teams are recipients of The Foundation’s latest funding – a total investment of $1.2 million this year.

Dr. Jerry Shay, vice chairman of the Department of Cell Biology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and chair of The Mary Kay Foundation Scientific Review Committee, has high hopes for the 2014 Mary Kay Foundation grantees. “My prediction is that we will continue to develop more targeted therapies and that early diagnosis will improve. By detecting cancer at an earlier stage, outcomes will be greatly enhanced, making cancer a treatable chronic disease, similar to cardiovascular disease.”

Knowing many are touched by cancer, it is great to see how the spirit of giving back helps others not only survive, but thrive. Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant and breast cancer survivor Dawn Barton, inspired by the support of her fellow consultants, raised money to donate Mary Kay products to a women’s shelter. 

Inspiring stories like these are a reminder that when it comes to fighting cancer, we’re all in it together. 

Today’s blog post is by Rebecca Gibson, a manager on Mary Kay’s Corporate Communications team. Rebecca works closely with The Mary Kay Foundation to help promote and share their commitment to fund research for cancers affecting women and prevent domestic violence.