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  • Posted Tuesday October 29, 2019

John McCain to be honored Oct. 31 at Cardinals-49ers game, supporting TGen brain cancer endowment

50/50 raffle at Halloween night game will support TGen’s John S. McCain III Endowed Professorship for Brain Cancer Research

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Oct. 29, 2019 — During this week’s NFL Thursday Night Football, when the Arizona Cardinals face the San Francisco 49ers at State Farm Stadium, one of the Cardinals’ biggest fans will be missing, but not forgotten.

Arizona’s late U.S. Sen. John McCain — arguably one of the team’s most ardent supporters, who occasionally visited with players during games and practices — will be remembered on the stadium’s screens during TV timeouts by four videos featuring: his widow Cindy McCain; Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald; Cardinals Chairman and President Michael Bidwill; and Dr. Jeffrey Trent, President and Research Director of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope,.

Each of the videos will encourage the tens of thousands of fans at the game to contribute to a 50/50 raffle, with half of the proceeds going to some lucky winner, and half going to TGen’s John S. McCain III Endowed Professorship for Brain Cancer Research. The senator died in August 2018 of glioblastoma, the most aggressive type of brain cancer.

The holder of this endowed professorship will be an innovative investigator who, much like the senator, embodies a “maverick” spirit to drive unconventional, outside-the-box research. This individual will be part of a world-class translational brain cancer research program, committed to pursuing effective clinical therapeutics that set new standards of patient care for brain cancer.

“Our family is honored that TGen has agreed to pay tribute to John through this endowed professorship,” Cindy McCain said last year when the endowment was established. “It shows the world our commitment to fighting this disease, and lets brain cancer patients know that they are not alone.”

Cindy McCain will be an honorary captain for the Cardinals during the pre-game coin-flip at midfield. Dr. Trent will crank up the Cardinals Big Red Siren to start the game.

Larry Fitzgerald, who was friends with the late senator since they first met in 2006, was among those who honored John McCain at his memorial service, saying some may wonder how they became friends, given their differences. His tribute honored McCain's service in the Navy, the sacrifices he made as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam and his work as a six-term senator. 

"I'm young. He wasn't so young. He lived with physical limitations brought on by war. I'm a professional athlete. He ran for president. I run out of bounds ... How does this unlikely pair become friends?” said Fitzgerald, explaining that they developed a meaningful friendship because McCain looked beyond physical attributes, political affiliations and bank accounts. He valued people based on what was in their hearts.

Fitzgerald once visited Vietnam and toured the Hanoi Hilton, where McCain was held as a prisoner of war. McCain once gave Fitzgerald a private tour of the U.S. Senate. Fitzgerald was a regular speaker at the Sedona Forum, which the McCain Institute holds each spring.

Michael Bidwill, a close friend of the McCain’s for decades, said he hopes that Thursday’s game will not only honor the memory of John McCain, but will help gather the funds needed to put TGen’s McCain Endowed Professorship in motion.

“We want to help ensure that TGen’s John S. McCain III Endowed Professorship for Brain Cancer Research will soon begin to make a substantial difference in the treatment and outcomes for brain cancer patients,” Bidwill said. “We are so pleased to host Cindy and Dr. Trent at the game, and to do whatever we can to support this most worthy cause.”

TGen was established in 2002, both to create a world-class genomics research facility, but also to anchor a downtown Phoenix Bioscience Campus and help diversify the Arizona economy.

“The establishment of this endowed professorship is a fitting tribute to a man who worked determinedly to help TGen take root in Arizona. We have wanted to recognize Senator McCain for many years, and have worked closely with the family and close friends in creating something special, something appropriate, and something that speaks to the Senator’s impact on our work,” Dr. Trent said.

Supporting the John S. McCain III Endowed Professorship in Brain Cancer Research ensures that TGen remains at the forefront of progress against this disease while transforming patient care.

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About TGen, an affiliate of City of Hope
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life-changing results. TGen is affiliated with City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases:  This precision medicine affiliation enables both institutes to complement each other in research and patient care, with City of Hope providing a significant clinical setting to advance scientific discoveries made by TGen. TGen is focused on helping patients with neurological disorders, cancer, diabetes and infectious diseases through cutting-edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research toward patient benefit).  TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and complex rare diseases in adults and children.  Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit: Follow TGen on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter @TGen

Media Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
[email protected]

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