The Peachey Effect: January-July 2018

Impact of Catherine Peachey Fund Continues to Flourish
By Stephanie Rufenbarger Lesher

With so much happening at the Catherine Peachey Fund, we wanted to share some highlights with our loyal supporters. We cannot do our work of funding important breast cancer research in Indiana without you!

In April, the Catherine Peachey Fund was thrilled to award a $45,000 grant to Richard Carpenter, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Carpenter (pictured at left) will use the funds to carry out research around one of the most significant and least studied aspects of breast cancer and other cancers — the metastasis of the disease to organs outside of the primary site of the cancer — and the potential cause and cure of this deadly event. Read more about Dr. Carpenter’s research here. 

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On April 14, the Catherine Peachey Fund, along with the Marion County Health Department, sponsored the Luncheon Keynote Presentation on Henrietta Lacks at the R.E.D. Alliance Breast Health Summit at Martin University in Indianapolis. Unknowingly responsible for some of the greatest research in recent history, Henrietta Lacks was an African-American woman in Virginia whose cells were harvested by doctors after she died of cervical cancer in 1951.

Although her family was not aware that her cells were being used to advance medicine, these cancer cells are the source of the HeLa cell line, the first immortalized cell line in medical research. Lacks’ grandchildren Shirley Lacks and Jeri Lacks Whye presented the keynote address, an inspiring highlight of the summit. The R.E.D. Alliance Breast Health Summit offered free educational workshops and a health and wellness expo for the public and healthcare providers. The Peachey Fund is proud to continue our support of the R.E.D. Alliance, which supports year-round education and research to end the disparity in mortality rates between African-American and Caucasian women in Indianapolis.


WNIT’s Dinner and a Book with Gail Martin featured the Catherine Peachey Fund and Just Peachey: Bearing Fruit during one of its April episodes. Stephanie Rufenbarger Lesher and Martin made several brunch recipes from the cookbook while discussing the history of the Catherine Peachey Fund, the research that we are currently supporting and our joining forces with the Heroes Foundation. You can watch the “Just Peachey” episode of Dinner and a Book here.

Wine Tasting With Peachey 2018 was a huge success, setting records for us in both attendance and dollars raised for breast cancer research! This sold-out evening (pictured below) raised $8,000, which we will put to work in helping to improve treatments and ultimately putting an end to breast cancer. Dr. Richard Carpenter, Ph.D. (pictured below center), was our keynote speaker, giving our donors insights into his research and how he is putting Peachey Fund dollars to work. Julia, Lauren, Therese, students at Guerin Catholic High School and Grace and Olivia, students at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel provided live entertainment on the patio, while Kendra Scott offered a “pop-up shop” inside the winery (20 percent of all Kendra Scott sales at the wine tasting were donated to the Catherine Peachey Fund). Stayed tuned for more information on next year’s event, which we plan to make even bigger and better! We are so grateful to Scott Burton and Peace Water Winery in Carmel for hosting this event for the past four years.

The Amelia Project, originally scheduled for March 24, had to be postponed until July 14. This change of date was the result of a late March snowstorm and an effort to keep our researchers, students, physicians and patient advocates home and safe. We will report back on the July 14 Amelia Project later this year.

As a member of the Heroes Foundation family, the Peachey Fund has participated in and benefited from several big annual fund-raising events hosted by the Heroes Foundation. These events help raise awareness of the Peachey Fund story and cause, and closely align us with other programs and initiatives of our Heroes Foundation team and supporters. Since January, those events have included the An Evening With Heroes gala and Spin4Heroes event. We look forward to several more events coming up in 2018 and would love for Peachey Fund supporters to get involved as well.

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Heroes Foundation 2017 Annual Report

See how Heroes Foundation advocates served the Indiana cancer community in 2017. View our 2017 Annual Report.