The Benefactors Circle was formed 21 years ago by Sharon and Joel Waller to raise money for Children’s Cancer Research Fund. Over the years more than $2.4 million has been raised.
This fund has made it possible for University of Minnesota researchers to earn larger federal grants, hire new researchers and allow projects in financial jeopardy to culminate. Annually, members gather for a dinner in late spring, hosted by the Wallers, to celebrate research progress and learn about new research funding opportunities.
This year, the Benefactors Circle members are looking to help fund a research program for umbilical cord stem cell transplantation. Dr. John Wagner created the treatment protocol at the University of Minnesota, which is now used worldwide. Dr. Wagner and his team are now trying to eliminate the problem of immune system recovery after transplantation, which the Benefactors funding could help support.