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Joe McClenahan

To all of Joe’s friends and family,

We are writing with an update about the fund that you helped us create to honor Joe’s memory.

Initially, the money we raised together was directed to the JEDI project, Joe’s Early Detection Initiative. This was a Phase 1 study of blood biomarkers that might be useful in the early detection of esophageal cancer. Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic had a significant impact on recruitment of patients for the study, and Dr. Vaughn is no longer working on the project.

Despite this setback, we remain hopeful that very early detection of esophageal cancer through blood testing will be possible in the near future.

Wanting these funds to have a more immediate impact, we have found another project that pays homage to Joe’s passionate belief in universal health care, and his conviction that every cancer patient should have access to the same exceptional care that he received.

The HICOR project is co-directed by Dr. Veena Shankaran, Joe’s beloved oncologist at SCCA.

She writes, “Our goal at HICOR is to reduce the human and economic burden of cancer through research and engagement with policy-makers, patients, payers, and clinicians throughout the state. Our research touches all areas of cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, end of life, and survivorship.” As we strategize with HICOR about where our funds can have the biggest impact, we will continue to update you.

Joe’s family remains profoundly grateful for your incredible generosity. He is a constant presence in our lives, as we strive to “live like Joe.” He would be so humbled by your love and support. Thank you so much for helping to make this fund a part of his legacy.