About Us


Mission Statement

The Andy Derr Foundation’s mission is to raise money to fund kidney cancer research and to support initiatives in patient advocacy, patient education, and patient engagement. It is in these pillars that Andy focused his efforts during his journey with cancer and as a patient advocate. Andy’s vision was to use these four elements as the groundwork to helping kidney cancer patients navigate through their own care continuum. Lastly, Andy wished that we work with local hospitals, so we can have a direct impact in the Allentown, Bethlehem, Reading, Easton, and surrounding areas of Pennsylvania.

Research

Research is the key to finding a cure for kidney cancer; however, with so many questions left to answer, where do we start? Andy’s foremost questions were: “why did my cancer lay dormant for 11 years before coming back?” and “why do some treatments work for some people but not others?”. The Andy Derr Foundation is dedicated to working with local hospitals and research institutions to aid in funding current and future research opportunities in kidney cancer.

Patient Engagement

Andy recognized that, as a patient, he should be fully engaged in his journey with cancer and the driver of all decisions. He believed in partnering with his care team to choose the best treatment option for him, encouraging individualization of his care based upon his body, his needs, and his goals. One of the best ways to engage patients is to connect them together, sharing their experiences. Our goal is to promote patient engagement and support local institutions in their patient engagement programs and endeavors.

Patient Advocacy

Much of the available peer support for patients is focused on the emotional and spiritual aspects of their journey, leaving the treatment discussions to the patient-doctor relationship. Andy found that throughout his treatment, he yearned to connect with patients and hear their stories, explore treatment options offered to them, and compare therapy side effects. He searched online avenues where he could talk to other patients, but felt that face-to-face interactions and local recommendations were lacking. The Andy Derr Foundation is committed to making kidney cancer patient advocacy a higher priority and supports local hospitals in development and sustainability of patient advocacy programs.

Patient Education

Although research may help answer key questions to cancer development and treatment options, disseminating that information to patients remains a challenge. New findings are published in scientific papers behind paywalls and conferences are limited to medical professionals or have such a high cost that going as a patient or caregiver is simply not feasible. There are some national programs that help translate this information for patients (such as Andy’s experience at ASCO); however, these are usually only held yearly.. Our goal is to support local efforts to educate patients and their caregivers in the latest research findings and treatment options in a patient-friendly manner.


Meeting Our Goals

2016

We founded this foundation and became a 501(c)(3) in February of 2016. In our first year, we established a relationship with the Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), aligning our goals with the goals of the hospital and setting up a process to ensure our donations would be used to help kidney cancer patients. We also held our first annual Oktoberfest in September which was a huge success. We donated $80,000 to LVHN at the end of 2016 to be used for kidney cancer research, patient education, advocacy, and engagement efforts.

2017

We ran our first social media campaign in March for Kidney Cancer Awareness month, with the goal of spreading awareness to all of our Facebook followers. We posted a new fact every day about kidney cancer and the current treatment options. Lehigh Valley Health Network put on their first Kidney Cancer Survivor Celebration in April, inviting current and past patients and their families. Dr. Motzer, one of the leading kidney cancer researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering, presented the history of kidney cancer research and where it's going in the future. We also had clinicians from LVHN give presentations on clinical trials, the IL2 program, and other efforts supporting kidney cancer patients. In September, we hosted our second annual Oktoerfest which was another big success. At the end of 2017, we donated $50,000 to LVHN to continue their work in kidney cancer.


Socialize with us!