Event will raise funds for brain cancer research

By: Velvet Spicer August 31, 2017

Adding Candles Inc. will hold its third annual fundraiser Sept. 14. The nonprofit, volunteer organization funds brain cancer research.

Since its founding in 2015, Adding Candles has raised $125,000 for brain cancer research at Wilmot Cancer Institute at University of Rochester Medical Center. The success of the organization’s fundraisers has prompted its leaders to commit to an additional $175,000 over the next three years.

“Our goal is to increase the years patients will live with brain cancer and the quality of those years by funding research,” said Adding Candles President Lois Warlick-Jarvie. “The success of our first two events led us to this long-term goal.”

A multiyear pledge helps leverage larger grants because it shows commitment to other funders, noted Nimish Mohile, associate professor in the division of neuro-oncology at the cancer institute.

“Adding Candles is funding a unique and large-scale quality of life study by the UR brain tumor program aimed at understanding a patient’s experiences and to better understand treatment side effects,” Mohile said. “Knowing the best way to assess patient outcomes will ultimately allow us to incorporate them into clinical trials and develop future drugs with the patient in mind, not just the scientist and doctors.”

The fundraising event will be held at Oak Hill Country Club from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

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Adding Candles to fund brain cancer research

Adding Candles to fund brain cancer research

Lois Warlick-Jarvie had a former colleague who died of brain cancer. Talking to friends, she learned so many had brothers, sisters and their own friends who succumbed.

"All we need to do is talk about this and we're finding people who are connected to brain cancer and want to do something," she said.

Warlick-Jarvie, who saw fundraising events being held for other diseases, had one question for her circle of friends: If she organized an event, would they help?

"They said yes," she recalled.

Warlick-Jarvie and a core group of about 20 supporters last fall started Adding Candles , a nonprofit that raises money for brain cancer research and supports UR Medicine's Wilmot Cancer Institute.

The name comes from the fact that people light candles for many reasons — for birthdays, for prayer, for remembrance, Warlick-Jarvie said. "Whatever it means for people. When I said to my friends I had this idea in my head of adding candles, they said they love it."

She said fundraising already has netted about $30,000 toward a first-year goal of $50,000. The organization will host Adding Candles for a Cure, from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 24 at Midvale Country Club, 2387 Baird Road, Penfield.

According to the American Brain Tumor Association, brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in children younger than 20. Brain cancers are the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males ages 20 to 39 and fifth-leading cause in females ages 20 to 39.

Nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. are living with a brain tumor, according to a fact sheet from the association. This year, nearly 70,000 new primary brain tumors will be diagnosed, and approximately 14,000 will die from the disease.

Adding Candles' first major event is a gala without the formal wear. Warlick-Jarvie described it as an after-work get-together with food stations, an auction and other activities.

"This has become a passion," said the 57-year-old Mendon resident, who retired after a career at Birds Eye Foods.

The group turned its initial excitement into a commitment by forming a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, which has legal and tax implications and as Warlick-Jarvie described it, "is not for the faint of heart."

Fewer than 20 percent of groups that donate to Wilmot are nonprofits, according to Tiffany Paine-Cirrincione, associate director of advancement and community events.

"The groups that do that tend to think about the longevity of their efforts," she said. "It shows a certain determination, and we're grateful for that."

Considering the money is targeted to brain cancer research, it can have immediate effect, said Dr. Nimish Mohile, division chief of neuro-oncology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and he takes care of brain tumor patients at Wilmot.

"We're interested in starting a clinical trial for glioblastoma,"said Mohile, who serves as advising physician to Adding Candles. "We could start a research project with this money."


Adding Candles

For more information on a local nonprofit that supports brain cancer research, go to www.addingcandles.com or email loiswj@addingcandles.com.

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