The Maiola Family Fund for Lung Cancer Research at Winship Cancer Institute was established in 2013 by Bill and Grace Maiola.
One week before his daughter's wedding in 2012, Bill Maiola was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. He had never smoked, there was no family history of cancer, and the 64-year-old exercised regularly.
Early treatment held his tumor in check. When the tumor began growing again, Bill was among the first U.S. volunteers for a human trial of a targeted medication called AZD9291. He defied the odds for almost four years, and died in February 2016.
It was his participation in a clinical trial at Winship that inspired the Maiolas to give back. "Bill was one of the nicest human beings I've ever met," says Winship Deputy Director Suresh Ramalingam. "Together, Grace and Bill shared a dedication to championing funds for lung cancer research that will help all families faced with this disease, not just their own."
The Maiola Fund has raised over $300,000 so far from family, friends, and Bill's former co-workers at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta. "We are grateful for what we had, and we wanted to be part of the solution. That's how Bill thought in life—solutions," said Grace.
Bill and Grace Maiola