Jay Holman became engaged in the research at Fred Hutch for many reasons. Breast cancer took the life of his mother, Lucille, at the age of 65, and his sister Lynn Holman Riggs was successfully treated for the disease this past year. Jay himself had surgery for stage 2 melanoma in July 2010.
Throughout his follow-up care, Jay admired the scientific innovation he witnessed firsthand at Fred Hutch as well as the skillful application of this innovation at the Hutch's treatment arm, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
Jay is a retired city manager of SeaTac, Washington, and retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. His scientific curiosity stirred as his health improved, and his ties to the Hutch grew stronger. At events, he took the opportunity to speak with scientists, including immunologist Dr. Philip Greenberg, to keep tabs on current research, and he toured the lab of melanoma researcher Dr. Sylvia Lee. Jay takes detailed notes at his own SCCA checkups with Dr. Shailender Bhatia. Every spring, he enrolls in the daylong Northwest Melanoma Symposium.
"I'm almost getting my M.D. here," he jokes.
Impressed by the Hutch's experts, grateful for the help he has received, and mindful of his family's struggle with cancer, Jay began thinking of ways to help Fred Hutch. To honor his parents, he created the John H. and Lucille V. Holman Endowment Fund. Half of his bequest will fund melanoma research; the rest will support breast cancer research.
Through his planned gift, Jay wants not only to honor the past, but to acknowledge the Hutch teams who have kept him healthy and whose research builds hope for the future.
"The field is exploding right now. There is a revolution in treatment," Jay says. "Let's get serious about trying to do away with cancer."
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