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Copyright 2012 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Rebecca Farm Awards $65,000  

to National and Local Organizations in

the Fight against Breast Cancer

 

December 2012 issue

 

Rebecca Farm Awards $65,000 to National & Local Organizations in Fight against Breast Cancer

 

      On October 18, 2012, Rebecca Farm awarded $65,000 to national and local organizations in the fight against breast cancer as part of its “Halt Cancer at X” initiative that was launched this summer at the 11th annual Event at Rebecca Farm, an equestrian triathlon that attracts 500 competitors and thousands of spectators every July.

      $50,000 has been awarded to a research project being conducted by Dr. Mario Capecchi, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Human Genetics and Biology at the University of Utah, Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Morris Herzstein Professor in Biology and Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, and Dr. Simon Titen, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow in the Mario Capecchi Laboratory, Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, University of Utah.

      Capecchi was a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2007 for discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells. Blackburn was a winner of The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.

      “The decision by the committee was unanimous to select and support doctors Capecchi, Titen and Blackburn to provide the seed money for an extraordinary research project with a $50,000 award,” said Sarah Broussard-Kelly, organizer of the Event at Rebecca Farm.

      Broussard-Kelly came up with the idea to launch this initiative in memory of her mother, Becky Broussard, who passed away in December 2010 after a brave battle with breast cancer. The initiative takes its name from the first competition in Eventing. During the dressage competition, riders halt at the ‘X’--a spot in the center of the arena--where horse and rider stop and acknowledge the judge before performing the test.

      The $50,000 grant for “Targeting Telomeres to Identify Novel Therapeutic Treatments of Breast Cancer” will help determine how perturbation of a single chromosome telomere is handled by human breast cancer cells. Telomeres are protective structures composed of DNA and protein that function at the end of all known linear chromosomes. Answers to this query should provide the means to more effectively manage breast cancer malignancy.

      Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women of all races in the U.S. and despite the increased awareness of the general public it remains the second most frequent cause of cancer related death in women. Their research is directed at identifying new more effective gene targets and novel therapeutic agents to prevent breast cancer progression by taking an innovative approach to understanding how mammary tumor cells maintain their telomeres and escape programmed cell death.

      In addition to the research grant, Kalispell Regional Hospital Foundation’s “Cancer Services Video Series” was awarded $7,500 and the Kalispell Regional Hospital Foundation Paul Bass Fund’s “One2One for Cancer Survivors” scholarship program also received a $7,500 award. Dr. Melissa Hulvat, MD FACS Breast Surgical Oncologist at Kalispell Regional Medical Center ’s Bass Breast Center will act as an advisory on both projects.

      “My mother’s great vision for The Event now has another branch--one that reaches into the world of Eventing and beyond,” said Kelly.

      “She wanted to create this platform for equestrians in the Northwest to show off their talents. The Event was her vision, and I am honored to take what she created and make it mean something more—so that other women can continue to fight breast cancer and have the chance to build their own dreams and legacies.”

      For more information about the Event at Rebecca Farm, visit www.rebeccafarm.org.

 

Copyright 2012 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

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