Grandma Genie

Grandma Genie

60 years after my grandmother, Genie, bravely fought cancer in Borgess Hospital, last summer, my mom, Nancy, was a patient for a week in the same hospital. Sadly, our grandmother, Genie, was only 56 when she lost the battle in 1957. I am asking for a donation of $56 in honor of Genie to VAI (Van Andel Institute,, in Grand Rapids, Michigan) to celebrate and support 6 decades of biomedical research that have improved lives since 1957. 

I am running 26.2 miles in the Chicago Marathon on October 7, 2018 to support VAI. Scientists at VAI seek to put an end to the many diseases we all fight such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and to several neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. It takes 10 years and a billion dollars to get a new therapy to a patient’s bedside!    


Please donate generously HERE or through this link:


Thank you in advance and if you’re interested in progress updates on fundraising, training or marathon day, I’ll share updates here my website and on Instagram


Why VAI? 

Every single dollar raised will go directly to biomedical research fighting disease

  • research is expensive
  • funding is at a historic low!
  • funding VAI's Epigenetics and Epigenomics teams who develop the new therapies we all need
  • because it takes 10 years + a billion dollars = to get a new therapy to a patient's bedside! 
  • VAI inspires kids in West Michigan to learn science through wonderful classes, camps and more at VAI's Education Institute! 


Which diseases? 

Cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as: Asthma, Alzheimer’s, Blood cancer, Bone cancer, Breast cancer, Colorectal cancer, Depression/suicide, Diabetes, Heart disease, Huntington’s, Lewy Body Dementia, Neurofibromatosis type 1, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Ovarian cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Parkinson’s, Prion diseases, Prostate cancer, Sarcoma are some of the diseases scientists research at VARI. 


What else?

Besides donating to scientific research, we can focus on modifiable risk factors--things that we can change--either individually or within our community to prevent disease such as:

  • Physical activity
  • Stress management and adequate sleep
  • Nutrition and healthy eating habits
  • Reduced exposure to radiation and chemicals that affect hormones or otherwise raise breast cancer risk
  • No or limited alcohol consumption
  • Breastfeeding (breast cancer)
  • Health equity


Learn more about VAI at: