Paddy's Hope is an organization, founded in memory of Patrick V. Allen, and dedicated to advancing brain cancer research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Through this endeavor, we hope to be able to promote empirically-based, cutting-edge research that will improve prognoses and provide a sense of hope for current brain tumor patients and their families.
About Pat Allen
About Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Patrick V. Allen
Pat Allen was 53 years old when he was diagnosed January 27th, 2007 with a stage IV gliosarcoma brain tumor. At the time of the diagnosis, Pat's tumor was judged to be inoperable, and he was given between 6 and 12 months to live. It was a devastating prognosis-but luckily one that was quickly turned aside, as Pat was determined to beat the odds.
Just a few days later, Pat was seen by a neurosurgeon at Roswell Park Cancer Institute-Dr. Robert Fenstermaker-who agreed to remove Pat's tumor and aggressively treat his cancer. In the three years that followed, Pat endured a grueling battle with brain cancer. He underwent multiple brain surgeries, numerous rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, physical and occupational therapy, and a multitude of other serious medical complications. Through it all, the doctors and nurses at Roswell Park were a constant source of inspiration and reassurance. Their unyielding dedication to Pat's fight provided us all with the sense of hope we needed to beat the odds. Sure enough, Pat did beat the odds, tripling his prognosis and astounding everyone, including his own doctors. Sadly, Pat's fight came to an end when he passed away from complications related to the tumor on February 14th, 2010.
Despite Pat's passing however, his spirit still lives on for the countless family and friends that he left behind-most of whom remember him not just for his remarkable 3 year battle with brain cancer, but for the 53 years he lived cancer-free. Many remember Pat as a loyal and fun-loving friend, always good for a Manhattan or two on a Friday night. Some probably remember him as a colleague in the food business, who rode the ups and downs of the business along with everyone else, working hard in good times and bad. Others remember him as a Poppi-a warm and affectionate Grandpa who had a sweet spot for his granddaughters. He was a loving husband and partner for 35 years, a father who relentlessly believed in his children and their pursuits. No matter how you remember Pat, he was a man that lived his life fiercely, and touched many in the process.
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Roswell Park is different from most hospitals. It's a place where lofty goals don't seem so out of reach, and hope isn't an intangible, but rather something that doctors and nurses are giving to patients every single day. Roswell advocates a multi-disciplinary approach to cancer treatment, with research scientists and clinicians working hand and hand to find the safest, most effective treatments for patients. Roswell has a long list of honors and accreditations, but most notably, it is one of only 40 hospitals in the U.S. to be named a "comprehensive cancer center" by the National Cancer Institute.
It is also heavily involved in the Buffalo community, partnering with the University of Buffalo and a variety of other local businesses in their endeavors. Roswell occupies 25 downtown acres, including 15 buildings on its main campus, spanning over 1.6 million square feet. Over the past decade, it has added 1,000 new jobs, initiated one of the first hospital facilities in the country dedicated to Phase I cancer research studies, and has taken the lead in a variety of different research areas. Roswell returns $5 for every state dollar invested in it, spurring economic growth in biomedical technology across the region.
Yet, Roswell is about more than cutting-edge science and state of the art facilities. They work hard to understand what the cancer experience is like both for the patient and their family, and they strive to make that experience more manageable. From the valet parking out front, to the coffee cart that strolls through the waiting room, to a doctor who is willing to come out three or even four times to update you on how a procedure is going. Roswell understands that every patient is a father, a mother, a brother, a sister. They believe in the value of treating cancer aggressively, and they resist the notion that any diagnosis is a death sentence. When you're fighting for your life, there's no one better to have in your corner than a team of doctors and nurses at Roswell.
Given the amazing impact Roswell had on Pat, and the entire Allen family, proceeds from Paddy's Hope will be dedicated to advancing brain tumor research at RPCI. This year, funds will be allocated to the research program led by Pat's neurosurgeon, Dr. Robert Fenstermaker, who is currently working to develop a vaccine that will harness the body's own immune system against brain tumors. Specifically, Dr. Fenstermaker's team is using genetically engineered molecules, called peptide mimics, to trick an individual's immune system into killing tumor cells that it would not normally attack. The hope is that the resulting vaccine might provide a successful treatment for gliomas, and perhaps even other types of cancer, without having any toxic side effects. Results of the research to date suggest that the vaccine has been effective in preclinical animal studies, but more work must be done before it can be tested in humans.
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