Twenty Years of the SFA
By Brandi Felser, Executive Director
Twenty years later, SFA continues to be a voice and leader for the sarcoma community.
Twenty years ago, before SFA, not much attention was paid to sarcoma. There were few treatment options, and no organization or institution focused on developing new therapies or expediting new treatments for patients. Sarcoma was a forgotten cancer.
Fast forward 20 years. Sarcoma awareness has substantially increased, more, though not nearly enough, therapies are available, and innovative and novel agents such as immune-oncology are beginning to be applied to sarcoma. And SFA has shown that we have the ability to harness the resources and the leadership necessary to bring an end to sarcoma.
While SFA’s accomplishments have been many over the course of 20 years, we are particularly proud that in 2019, SFA reached its highest level of research funding. In 2019, we committed $2 million in funding for sarcoma research. SFA’s Race to Cure Sarcoma (RTCS) Run/Walk series raised over $1 million and our partnerships with cancer centers across the country provided $320,000 of funding in local communities. In total, SFA has provided $875,000 in research dollars to local cancer centers through our RTCS series.
These efforts brought SFA’s total investment in research to more than $10 million. Of the many accomplishments SFA enjoys, being the largest funder of research in the sarcoma community is one of the most important.
In 2019, SFA also engaged in strategic partnerships with other patient advocacy organizations, academia and pharmaceutical companies to advance research and sarcoma treatments through funding of and participation in clinical trial and research advocacy initiatives.
We provided scholarships to sarcoma patient advocates from across the country to attend lobby days in Washington, D.C. Throughout the halls of the Capitol we made our voices heard pushing for increased federal funding for sarcoma research, programs to aide in the fight against childhood cancer, and revised regulatory pathways.
SFA also spoke up at a recent FDA meeting urging approval of an important new treatment for a subtype of sarcoma that until recently did not have any treatment available and little hope.
These are only highlights of SFA’s 2019 accomplishments. We know there is much more to do.
SFA will broaden our investments in innovative research and further our strategic partnerships to leverage our resources and make our research dollars go even farther. We will expand our advocate engagement and education efforts and provide more opportunities for advocates to interact with researchers and learn more about clinical trials and promising new research. We will engage sarcoma advocates in growing awareness about the needs of the sarcoma community with policy makers and continue to advocate for increased federal funding for sarcoma research, thereby expanding our reach.
We will seize every opportunity to represent the voice of the sarcoma community wherever the opportunity presents itself.
Thank you for your support that has made all of SFA’s accomplishments possible. We hope that you will continue to be a part of our efforts as we press forward to do even more to find the cure for sarcoma.