Time magazine, in it’s Cancer special, published an article on how cancer research non-profits are sometimes light on the research component of their mission. Even when it’s part of their name, some organizations spend less than 50% – or even 10% on funding actual research. There is an extent to which every organization needs to diversify their programs to address the needs of their constituents, but for us at MPN Research Foundation, even as we’ve added education and advocacy to our programs our focus remains as always on results-driven research.
Whether or not these other groups are righteous in their funding of non-research programs (like providing teddy bears to sick pediatric cancer patients) is something their board must address. Perhaps because our board of directors is comprised almost entirely of MPN patients and their family members do we feel it is imperative to keep our resources flowing towards the activities that offer the best shot at curing MPN patients if not alleviating their symptoms and extending their lives.
Recently we completed our annual report for 2010, where we discovered we spend 92% of our program service dollars on research, with a remaining 8% on education and advocacy. Our emphasis on research, even over other worthy pursuits like education, allows a patient to fund their own potential cure. We tell patients that, with us, you can affect your own outcome by making an investment in MPN research. It’s a radically proactive stance, but it’s the nothing less than what MPN patients (on the board and off) demand.