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Couple Funds Grants for Head and Neck Cancer Research

When Greg Gregory was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx, he and his wife Amanda had no doubt that they would find the best possible care at Winship Cancer Institute. The world-class treatment Greg received has since lead the Gregorys to create a named fund for head and neck cancer research, participate in Friends of Winship, and serve on Winship’s Advisory Board.

As a patient, Greg saw the impact of innovative research and high-quality patient care firsthand. “It gives extraordinary confidence to a patient to see the research and communication that goes on between the professionals about you and your case,” he said. “You can tell that they are out to beat cancer, period. They’re playing on a big stage, and Winship enables them to do that.”

In addition to becoming involved with Winship’s auxiliary group and its Advisory Board, the Gregorys have committed $75,000 to establish an expendable fund for head and neck cancer research. “After witnessing what cancer research can do personally and having the chance to see such research occurring during a tour of the labs, we knew that donating to Winship would help the incredible researchers continue to save lives,” Amanda said.

The first pilot grant from The Gregory Family Fund for Head and Neck Cancer Research was awarded in December 2012 to fund research to identify genetic mutations linked to head and neck cancer caused by HPV infection. Nabil Saba, MD, FACP, chief of head and neck oncology and associate professor of hematology and medical oncology, is the study’s principal investigator.  “We are beyond appreciative of the research grant from the Gregorys. Gifts from patients and supporters like Amanda and Greg enable us to continue innovative research even in the face of governmental budget cuts,” Saba said. “The information we derive from this research will help us take a step further in the treatment of head and neck cancer.”

Much of the Gregorys motivation to give lies in the admiration they have for Winship’s researchers. “A lot of becoming a cancer survivor is about the confidence you have in your care,” Greg said. “The people at Winship have become a family. Their love and professionalism makes such a difference, and Amanda and I truly rejoice in that.”