Genesis of a fundraiser.
For six endless years Errol McDowell fought a grueling type of brain cancer known as Medulloblastoma. He fought it gracefully, courageously and ferociously, but still it defeated him. Errol died at home in Pebble Beach, California on June 13th, 2018. His obituary is linked here, and his legacy is Canceragogo. We will miss him forever.
During the course of his treatment, Errol joined forces with his younger brothers Mac and Piers McDowell to start a charity to support immunotherapy and other pediatric cancer therapies. The charity would ask for $1 from every American, all 325 million of us, and be called Canceragogo.
And that’s what the McDowell brothers did, melding their creative forces and energy to spread the word of this important charity. In addition to conceiving of the charity, they came up with the novel concept of a credit card-like pass along card to hand to the public at large. Numerous times they worked the phones making calls about the community or to extended family members and friends about the world, soliciting donations for Cancer-A-Gogo, a 501C3 charity. Their efforts have raised over $800,000 and counting.
In addition the McDowell family has personally funded research about the country and set up an additional Charitable Trust to fund medical research. Father Rider McDowell, a former investigative reporter, has spent the past 6 years researching nascent cancer therapies, meeting with researchers and scientists about the world in search of a cure. Each inspiring bit of research data spurred him on to learn more and more. An early observation was the sheer potential for cures that existed, but that were in a kind of limbo, awaiting funding to initiate clinical trials. McDowell learned that cancer researchers, at even the most prestigious institutions, depend largely on the NIH (National Institute of Health), a government funded agency that funds a mere 6% of all grants requests, due to budget constraints. That meant that 94% of all grant requests were being denied. It also surprised McDowell how many of these brilliant scientists and doctors were not privy to the research and breakthroughs of their colleagues at fellow institutions.
Cancer-A-Gogo was conceived of to ensure that these same scientists could receive direct funding to pursue their clinical trials and research. It was also started to create a place for researchers to learn from their peers in the immunotherapy and gene therapy cancer research world, by virtue of their inclusion in the transparent Cancer-A-Gogo forum. Mac and Piers, two beautiful community-minded young citizens of the world, are determined to carry on the legacy they started with their beloved elder brother.