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2013 Annual Report

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Purple Community ®

Purple Community ® 40,000 Steps, ,000 Raised to Fight Cancer When a family member of an eighth-grade student at Duncan Lake Middle School was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, she presented the idea for a cancer walk – and the entire school rallied behind her. The school decided to support cancer research at Van Andel Institute because of its 100% Hope ® promise. 100 % 100% of every gift to Van Andel Institute goes directly to the laboratories and classrooms. “We know that 100% of what we raise goes to research,” said Ryan Graham, Principal at Duncan Lake Middle School. “For our students, seeing items in the lab that Duncan Lake helped purchase and hearing a researcher talk about his work is powerful.” Duncan Lake’s Cancer Walk was planned by a leadership team of six students and implemented by an army of 60 student council volunteers. The entire school participated in a fundraising competition Funds raised by Duncan Lake Middle School students to purchase new lab equipment: for six weeks leading up to the event, and the students managed all the fundraising activities. The students held bake sales, raffled off five-pound gummy bears and sold tickets to throw wet sponges at teachers. The school currently has three students battling cancer, and most students have been touched by the disease through a friend or family member. “My grandpa had cancer,” explained eighth-grade organizer Jason Blunt. “Knowing that there are people who are working hard to try to cure cancer makes me feel good.” For these students, fighting cancer is an expression of their support for cancer research and the joyful feeling of school spirit. “We take joy in fighting cancer; celebrate with us!” said Graham. The Power of Purple Purple Community, Van Andel Institute’s grassroots fundraising program, connects individuals who want to make a difference with the resources needed for action. Working together, individuals, businesses, schools and communities have the ability to influence the future of human health. Duncan Lake Middle School students have changed the course of research at Van Andel Institute by raising more than ,000, supporting the research of Dr. Nate Lanning, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Lab of Systems Biology. $ 40,000 One focus of Lanning’s research is to understand the metabolism of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and aggressive malignant primary brain tumor found in humans. Thanks to the donations from Duncan Lake Middle School, a new piece of equipment was purchased in 2013. This equipment allows him to take more accurate measurements in his experiments and provides critical insights into the metabolism of GBM. “I cannot tell you how fast the equipment has accelerated my research,” said Lanning. “It has supported not only my research but also the work of others researching breast cancer, melanoma and more at Van Andel Institute.” 23 GIVE TODAY AT VAI.ORG/GIVE

“Knowing that there are people who are working hard to try to cure cancer makes me feel good.”–Jason Blunt Milestones 200+ More than 200 students and community members attended the inaugural Purple Community Leadership Academy. $ 900,000 More than 0,000 has been raised for cancer and neurodegenerative disease research since 2009. 302,595 More than 300,000 people have participated in Purple Community events since 2009. 255 Purple Community has hosted 255 events since 2009. Purple Community Willie Weninger, Dr. Nate Lanning, Joelle Henry, Jason Blunt, Trenton Beemer, Joey Shuster, Ryan Graham, Liz Alexander and Callie Delaney van andel institute 24

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