Stuart Scott’s death earlier this month following a battle with cancer evoked an outpouring of emotion from his many fans, friends, and colleagues. Although it may not be unusual to see social media flooded with positive memories mixed with sadness and anger that a beloved figure had passed away, Scott’s prominence in particular as a leader and representative of the sports world’s fight against cancer did seem unique.
In an announcement released today by ESPN on behalf of The V Foundation for Cancer Research and members of Scott’s family, the organization stated that new cancer research fund has been created that will honor the memory of Scott and aid the fight for which he was so passionate. The Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund is being launched this week, and will be initiated with a $100,000 donation from ESPN. The V Foundation has also established a page on their website, www.jimmyv.org/stuartscott, for further donations.
“It was not lost on Stuart that his diligence and education about cancer research helped extend his life,” said Stuart’s sister Sharon Scott in the release. “Stuart’s passion for education was unmatched. He researched every aspect of his treatment to live with and beat cancer. His research revealed cancer’s disparities and the inequities faced in the African American and Hispanic cancer-fighting communities. I know that he would be proud that The V Foundation is setting up this fund in his name to accelerate research for all communities.”
The fund will initially go towards two groups, as described in the press release: the first will be to V Scholar Grants, which are awarded to “young, stellar investigators developing their own independent laboratory research projects” and will receive $200,000 over a two-year period. The second designation was to Translational Research Grants, which will receive $600,000 for three-year commitments that “strive to bring the cancer-fighting results found in test tubes to patients more quickly and efficiently.”
“Stuart inspired others by how courageously he battled cancer,” ESPN President John Skipper said in the release. “He and I talked about this horrible disease and opportunities he saw to expand the scope of research being done. He was taken from us way too young, and given what he stood for and what he clearly meant to so many, this fund is a fitting way to honor his legacy and significantly add to what he did so valiantly – fight cancer.”
“Cancer is more than 100 individual diseases,” said Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation. “As research accelerates our knowledge, we recognize how varied each individual cancer is, and how the same type of cancer can vary among different people. Many cancers pose more of a problem in different ethnic groups, and cancer overall affects diverse populations in complex ways. Translational research will target these issues. We also know that innovation happens with diversity of thought. Funding V Scholars, the brightest minds in cancer research, through supporting people who are part of disproportionately affected communities, can make research stronger.”