Dear Positivity Geniuses:

60 years ago my maternal grandmother, Genie, bravely lost the battle to liver cancer in 1957. I chose to honor her by raising money for Van Andel Research Institute and run my second marathon. While training for the Chicago Marathon in August 2018, my Dad was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer! I believe in scientific discoveries and finding solutions to conquer illness.

Today, my Dad has benefited from decades of medical research. It is truly genius! Including Noble Prize winning oncology medication that was recently in the news for putting evolutionary lessons to work 159 years later!

Asking for your help in the fight against illness with a donation to celebrate six decades of biomedical research that have improved lives since 1957.  Feel free to choose any amount and thank you in advance!

Follow this link:                        http://bit.ly/spvaichicago.


It takes 10 years and a billion dollars to get a new therapy to a patient’s bedside! Every dollar donated to VAI goes directly to putting an end to the diseases we such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and many more. 

I appreciate your support very much! Thank you in advance! Hoping that more families do not have to go through anything similar!

Why VAI? 

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

  • funding is at a historic low!

  • funding VAI's epigenetics and epigenomics teams who develop the new therapies

  • 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 VAI. 

 “Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning”- Albert Einstein

Grandma Genie had a big heart for all children. She earned two degrees in education (during the years 1920s-1950s) and enjoyed working with children with special needs. She is remembered as being a trailblazer in the field of education when teachers were expected to remain unmarried (or quit). Genie grew up on a rural farm and was regularly exposed to fertilizers. She encouraged my mom, Nancy, to pursue her dream of attending Columbia University in NYC which she did get into- although, all of those plans changed abruptly and my mom followed in her footsteps locally. Genie is not forgotten. We talk about her often 61 years later.   

 Grandma Genie, Dad going in for the Y90 radiation bead treatment and Mom 15 years after breast cancer!

Grandma Genie, Dad going in for the Y90 radiation bead treatment and Mom 15 years after breast cancer!

 Grandma Genie loved Robert Frost’s poetry. Thank you for donating generously  HERE  or through this link:  http://bit.ly/spvaichicago

Grandma Genie loved Robert Frost’s poetry. Thank you for donating generously HERE or through this link: http://bit.ly/spvaichicago

 The post-marathon grin after running 26.2 miles with a new PR!

The post-marathon grin after running 26.2 miles with a new PR!