The Jeffrey Fund

Jeffrey Thornton - The Jeffrey Fund - Sarcoma Foundation of America


The  Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) appreciates that some donors wish to see their contribution be invested for the long haul.  After giving, they see over time that their gift has resulted in a long-lasting testament to the quest to finding ever new and better therapies with which to treat sarcoma patients.

If this describes your outlook on charitable giving, then The Jeffrey Fund may be worth considering for your donation.

Below is the history of The Jeffrey Fund and its vision to serve as a charitable investment vehicle to ensure the sustainability of perpetual SFA Research Awards to deserving sarcoma researchers:


The spark that ignited the start of the Sarcoma Foundation of America was the diagnosis of then 3-year-old Jeffrey Thornton with sarcoma. He was a gregarious, mischief-making preschooler when the tumor was first noticed on this tongue.   His parents, Mark Thornton, MD, MPH, PhD, and Patricia Thornton, along with John Brooks, MD, were motivated to act not only to help treat his cancer but others as well.  Grappling with Jeffrey’s diagnosis, they sought resources and discovered a need for a patient advocacy and research organization dedicated to sarcoma patients and their families.  A close collaboration ensued as they sought to fill that void.

Since the inception of the foundation, the SFA has grown exponentially and has become the only nationally prominent charitable organization focused on the mission of finding new and better therapies to treat sarcoma.

Thanks to the annual investments of generous donors over the years, the SFA has been able to remain steadfast in its resolve to advocate for sarcoma patients by funding innovative sarcoma research, advocating for government reform and funding, providing education to patients and family members, and increasing awareness of the disease.

Jeffrey Thornton - The Jeffrey Fund - Sarcoma Foundation of AmericaThough there is still more to be done to provide for the patients – and families – of today and tomorrow, there is hope. That hope continues to come in the form of innovative sarcoma research, the type of research that Sarcoma Foundation of America funds every year.  To date, the SFA has funded more than 100 basic and translational research grants for both a variety of subtypes and sarcoma as a whole.  The work funded by these grants has materially increased the scientific community’s understanding of sarcoma.  All have held a common thread:  moving the research needle forward through innovation.

Through the SFA’s efforts, together with the organization’s Medical Advisory Board, made up of the leading sarcoma researchers and physicians in the field, parents of a child like Jeffrey need not receive news that there are zero therapeutic options.  The SFA’s steady progress in directly and indirectly helping to foster the availability of close to a dozen powerful new therapies for sarcoma has helped to create hope for the development of the cures necessary to treat all sarcoma patients and to ultimately eradicate this rare cancer. None of this would have been possible without Jeffrey’s devastating diagnosis.

Tragically, on July 5, 2015, Jeffrey’s bright life was taken from us, ironically not from sarcoma, but because of a freak, senseless car accident on backwoods, country road.

Jeffrey Thornton - The Jeffrey Fund - Sarcoma Foundation of AmericaAs a way of honoring Jeffrey’s legacy, and thanks to the vision of longtime Thornton family friend and SFA supporter Jonathan Lewis, MD, PhD, The Jeffrey Fund was established in January 2017.  The Jeffrey Fund received an upfront gift of $250,000 made by friends and family of the Thornton’s and Lewis’, with the initial goal of establishing a fund of $1 million.

Sustained endowed research is the most important investment that can be made to further the work of the SFA’s network of sarcoma researchers.  The Jeffrey Fund will grow through prudent investment to generate funds to support in perpetuity $50,000 SFA innovation grant awards.

In this way, the brief, yet triumphant life of Jeffrey Thornton – the true founder of the Sarcoma Foundation of America – will live on in the research advancements yet to come from these grants and will contribute perpetually toward the conquest of sarcoma.

For more information about supporting The Jeffrey Fund, please contact us at [email protected].

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