A foundation started by Castle Pines' first mayor, Maureen Shul, recently gave a $45,000 check to the University of Colorado Cancer Center to help support pancreatic cancer research.
Shul lost her mother and brother to pancreatic cancer within months of each other and later established a foundation called Wings of Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Research.
"Wings of Hope is committed to raising awareness of the pancreatic cancer research and treatments taking place at the CU Cancer Center," said Shul. "We are also committed to making sure people know the specific pancreatic cancer research programs their donations are helping to support."
She said the money was raised at an April event at Parker's The Wildlife Experience, where her brother, Brian Shul, a U.S. Air Force pilot, had been a guest speaker.
“We had a sell-out event, which resulted in our being able to present $45,000 to the University of Colorado Cancer Center,” she said.
But that's not the end. “We are working on our next events, one of which will include climbing a 'fourteener' to raise funds,” she said.
Dr. Colin Weekes, who accepted the check, is an oncologist and an investigator at the cancer center.
Weekes said currently there are few treatment options for these patients. The donation will be used to advance the development of targeted therapies by identifying the genetic biomarkers in pancreatic cancer tumors.
"The donation from Wings of Hope will help us advance the discovery and development of therapies that may improve the outlook for people diagnosed with this type of cancer."
Shul, who led the effort to incorporate Castle Pines, was elected its first mayor in 2007 and served as mayor and then on council until 2012.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and is projected to rise to the second leading cause by 2020, according to information from Shul. It is estimated that 43,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with pancreatic cancer, with 74 percent not surviving beyond 12 months.