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.
Meeting Our Goals
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.
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.