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Grants in Action: Improving Quality of Life for People Living with Serious Diseases

Nonprofits throughout our region work to improve the quality of life for people who have been diagnosed with a disease—whether cancer, Parkinson’s, Fanconi anemia, Alzheimer’s or any number of other diseases. For these nonprofit organizations, helping improve quality of life might look like sharing information about exercise and nutrition targeted toward managing symptoms or it could mean developing programs that bring people joy as they go through treatment. Other nonprofits focus on research to find effective treatments.

It’s invaluable to have organizations dedicated and focused on every facet of care, quality of life and finding a cure for diseases. That’s why the Murdock Trust funds nonprofits around the Pacific Northwest across the spectrum of care and support, because it takes every piece of the puzzle to make a difference in the lives of people living with serious diseases. And it’s not only the health-related support that makes a difference, but the scientific research for treatments and cures, the use of the arts as therapy and educating the public about diseases and how they affect people living with diseases.

Children’s Cancer Association’s innovative and award-winning programs create joy for children and their families facing a cancer diagnosis and treatment. The Chemo Pal Mentor Program matches an adult mentor with a seriously ill child for emotional support and caregiver respite, while the MyMusicRx Program provides music therapy to children throughout diagnosis and treatment. Through these and other programs, CCA reaches 14,000 children and family members to help them when their need is greatest.


Azeneth and her Chemo Pal Mentor, Sara, at Randall Children’s Hospital

When former NBA player Brian Grant was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 36, he asked what he could do to live better with a disease that currently has no cure. He founded the Brian Grant Foundation to focus on exercise and nutrition as a means to manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for those with Parkinson’s. BGF offers exercise training to professionals, nutrition and cooking classes and more, and its medical advisory board developed some of the first evidence-based guidelines for exercise and nutrition in managing the effects of Parkinson’s.


Brian Grant leads an exercise class targeted to help Parkinson’s patients manage symptoms

Fanconi anemia is a rare genetic disorder that leads to bone marrow failure and cancer. When it comes to rare diseases, research and awareness is often limited, and thus the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund was born. In addition to increasing research and awareness, FARF provides education and support services to families affected around the world. FARF funds research, hosts an annual scientific symposium and supports families with counseling and education. Because of FARF’s research funding, therapies have been developed that greatly expand the life span of patients.


Scientists research effective therapies for people living with Fanconi anemia

Alaska has the fastest aging population in the country, and every seven seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease. The rising demand for care for this population means that Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska is more important than ever in making the difference in the life of an Alaskan senior. Memory screenings, education programs and helping coordinate care for seniors are just a few of the ways that ARA supports this population.


Seniors receive education and care through Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska’s programs

Receiving a diagnosis and learning to live with a serious disease is life-changing. The Murdock Trust is proud to partner with nonprofits who come alongside people living with diseases and providing support, education, therapies and research to hopefully find an eventual cure where there currently is not one. Browse through the grants awarded on our website to discover more nonprofits doing this important work.