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Jefferson Surgical Solutions

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Diagnosed with and successfully treated for breast cancer at Jefferson in 1984, Marianne Connolly returned when faced with a potential diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in 2005. Feeling blessed by her fortunate outcome and access to excellent medical care, Marianne and her husband Charles made a very personal decision to support Jefferson. They decided to contribute to research efforts that would translate into advanced treatment for patients with pancreatic cancer.

The Connollys have pledged $100,000 to support Jefferson’s cutting edge clinical and investigative work in pancreatic cancer and its related diseases. Charles J. Yeo, MD, Samuel D. Gross Professor and Chair of Surgery, leads a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, radiologists, and gastroenterologists in the new Jefferson Pancreatic, Biliary, and Related Cancers Center. The Connolly gift helps Dr. Yeo and the Center pursue research discoveries and gain momentum in the ongoing fight against these diseases.

“We feel very fortunate for the incredible experience I had at Jefferson, most recently under Dr. Yeo’s care,” says Marianne. “It is a great gift that we can use my situation to assist others. By supporting Dr. Yeo’s research, we are able to turn a negative personal situation into something that provides hope to many people.”

“It is truly the generosity and the example set forth by the Connollys that will provide us with the resources necessary to fight this complicated disease,” says Assistant Professor Jonathan Brody, PhD, who runs a laboratory devoted to pancreatic cancer in the Division of Surgical Research. “With the Connolly’s commitment to our pancreatic group here at Jefferson, we will be able to explore the realistic possibility of providing individualized and enhanced treatment strategies to patients with pancreatic cancer. In short, without these resources, many of the group’s good ideas would never be tested or eventually put into practice with patients.”

While the Connolly’s generous pledge has made ambitious basic and translational pancreatic cancer research possible at Jefferson, several other fronts still require funding. One such project is the Jefferson Pancreas Tumor Registry, a longitudinal study which aims to arm researchers with a better understanding of the familial components of pancreatic cancer and to identify environmental and occupational exposures that may increase an individual’s risk of developing the disease.

For more information, or to make a gift to the Department of Surgery, please contact Lara Allan Goldstein at 215-955-8797 or Lara.AllanGoldstein@jefferson.edu.