The Los Angeles Dodgers, the McCourt family, City of Hope and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles on July 31 launched ThinkCure, a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to raising funds for critical cancer research at the two hospitals — and ultimately to finding a cure for cancer.
ThinkCure is the official charity of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“With ThinkCure, we are creating a civic entity dedicated to raising the funds necessary to find a cure for cancer,” said Frank McCourt, owner and chair of the Dodgers. “Ideally, like the Dodgers, ThinkCure will become the property and concern not of its founding sponsors alone, but rather, the entire Los Angeles community. ThinkCure will help provide the financial resources necessary for City of Hope and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles to develop the treatments — and cures — of tomorrow.”
City of Hope’s Stephen J. Forman, M.D., the Francis and Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, said that cancer research is increasingly leading to better and safer treatments for adults and children, which provides hope for a cure. “We are so pleased to be working with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles to establish ThinkCure as partners in this quest,” he said.
ThinkCure is following in the footsteps of a similar partnership between a beloved sports franchise and those dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. The Jimmy Fund, launched in 1948 by the Boston Braves (later the official charity of the Boston Red Sox) and the Variety Club of New England, in conjunction with Sidney Farber, M.D. (founder of the first hospital unit devoted exclusively to caring for children with cancer), is one of the most enduring and successful charities of its kind. The McCourt family has been associated with The Jimmy Fund since its inception when Frank McCourt’s grandfather Francis McCourt was co-owner of the Boston Braves.
“We are on the brink of turning cancer into a chronic disease,” said Mike Andrews, chair of The Jimmy Fund. “With the Dana Farber Cancer Research Institute here in Boston and City of Hope and Childrens Hospital Los Angeles on the West Coast and what other centers are doing around the world, we are getting closer by the minute and ThinkCure will have a huge impact on that success.”
In coordination with the launch, the Think Blue sign at Dodger Stadium was changed to read ThinkCure. And as part of the July 31 pregame festivities, Ventura County firefighter Jeff Maurer, a former cancer patient at City of Hope, 14-year old Emily Buelow of Calabasas, a former cancer patient of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, and Amy Dilbeck, a former cancer patient and now intern at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, threw pitches to Forman and Siegel, the doctors who helped them win their battles against cancer, and Travis McCourt, who represented the McCourt family.
Volunteers from both hospitals attended games during the homestand to help raise funds. Jamie and Frank McCourt recently announced they will match donations up to $1 million to launch the fund. Additional events will be held throughout the year and a complete schedule of events will be announced soon.
In addition, Major League Baseball has pledged $100,000 as an initial contribution to ThinkCure, and KCAL 9, the Dodgers’ Los Angeles broadcast television partner, announced that it has committed an unprecedented amount of airtime and other key resources to the effort.
For information about the organization, visit www.thinkcure.org.