What began as an exploration into gardening exploded into a full-fledged second career for Bill Wallace, retired executive and creator of Hawk’s Feather Oliveto — an award-winning olive oil varietal.
Now Wallace has blended his olive oil business into his fundraising effort for City of Hope. For every donation over $500 to support City of Hope’s kidney cancer research, Wallace will contribute a bottle of his prized oil. His initiative has just launched, but dozens already have made their way to generous donors.
Wallace’s initiative stems from his personal battle against cancer that began in 2004. Wallace was diagnosed with stage III papillary renal carcinoma, a rare type of kidney cancer. He initially began a course of standard treatments at University of California, San Francisco, but the physicians were unable to stop his metastasizing cancer.
He decided to find a leading kidney cancer oncologist who could offer hope. With the help of friends, Wallace was steered to Robert Figlin, M.D., at UCLA. Now the Arthur and Rosalie Kaplan Professor of Medical Oncology and interim director of City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Figlin recommended a clinical trial, which only provided temporary relief.
Undaunted, Figlin recruited Wallace into another clinical trial involving the targeted drugs everolimus and lapatinib. These drugs showed promise in stopping cancer by blocking certain enzymes needed for cell growth and halting blood flow to the tumor. Wallace has responded well to the drugs.
Figlin aims to develop more effective treatments for all forms of kidney cancer, including rare forms. It is this promise that most excites Wallace. “I’ve learned that current research advances into kidney cancer are helpful to other cancers too, so supporting kidney cancer research helps all kinds of cancer patients,” Wallace said.
“Research is critical in the fight against cancer, and donating to City of Hope means those funds will be directed to that effort,” he said. “On top of a tax deduction, donors get an extraordinary return on their investment, since cancer affects everyone in our society.”
For more information about how to contribute to kidney cancer research and receive a bottle of Hawk’s Feather Oliveto — while supplies last — contact City of Hope Gift Planning Officer Randy Lapin at 213-202-5735, ext. 26233.