Philanthropy >>

Patient and Wife Create Lung Cancer Research Fund

By Yael D Sherman | Development Communications | Jan. 28, 2014

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Diagnosed with lung cancer last year, Bill Maiola came to Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University for treatment. There he found a group of faculty members dedicated to fighting cancer and finding a cure. Inspired by their work, Bill and Grace Maiola created the Maiola Family Fund for Lung Cancer Research to support them.

“The physicians and researchers at Winship are on the cusp of remarkable breakthroughs, and there is a tangible need for pioneering research in lung cancer,” he says. “We could not think of a better place to direct our philanthropic funds, as I believe that the unique and advanced research at Winship will continue to help patients like me.”

Admiration of Maiola’s primary care physician, Fadlo Khuri, fueled their desire to support Winship. Khuri is Winship’s deputy director, professor and chair in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, and the Robert C. Goizueta distinguished chair in cancer research. “Dr. Khuri has an incredible breadth of knowledge,” Bill Maiola says. “He is truly a dedicated individual, and it is beyond evident that he has committed his professional life to making breakthrough advances in the treatment of cancer.”

Khuri is confident that the Maiola Family Fund will result in more groundbreaking research. “Gifts from people like the Maiolas enable us to remain on the frontline in the fight against devastating diseases like lung cancer,” he says. “Their contributions support cutting-edge research that is essential to obtain additional funding from the NIH. We are grateful that Bill and Grace have put their trust in us with both his treatment and their donation.”

Bill Maiola’s former employer, The Coca-Cola Company, matched the family’s initial gift. Now the Maiolas are inviting their friends and family members to contribute to their named fund. “We know that Winship is the gold standard, and we would not be asking others to give if we did not feel complete confidence in the people here,” he says.

The Maiolas take comfort in knowing they are contributing to something worthwhile. “We are grateful for a lifetime of good fortune, and it is so gratifying to be able to turn around and pass that good fortune on to others,” Grace Maiola says. “Supporting the doctors and researchers who will make new discoveries and change lives is a truly meaningful endeavor for us.”