The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation: We will fight childhood and ovarian cancers
New mission kicks off with new fundraising goal – and donor pledges to match first $100,000 raised
Mooresville, N.C. – Responding to a yearlong journey that has sharpened their perspective on the devastating impact of ovarian and childhood cancers, NASCAR Driver Martin Truex Jr. and longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex today announced the foundation’s new mission to raise awareness of and funding for childhood and ovarian cancer initiatives.
September is the national awareness month for both childhood and ovarian cancers. The foundation today also unveiled its logo symbolizing the combined focus and a goal to raise $500,000 to support research of childhood and ovarian cancers during this important month and continuing through The Chase. Already, a donor has pledged to match the first $100,000 in donations.
Truex Jr. launched his foundation in 2007 to help children. Over the years, Truex Jr. and Pollex have become more passionate about helping children with cancer. Then Pollex was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer in August 2014.
The next year catapulted Truex Jr. and Pollex into the trenches with others fighting for their lives, spurring them to adopt a “Never Give Up” attitude and a renewed focus to fight for the critically underfunded cancers specific to childhood and ovarian cancers.
The couple is determined to find less toxic, more effective drug treatments and cures for childhood cancer. Knowing firsthand how radiation, chemotherapy and toxic chemicals decimate a body’s system, Martin and Pollex are determined to help find better, safer ways to save the lives of babies, toddlers and teenagers battling cancer.
“The damage that these lifesaving drugs do to your system is awful and, at the end, there is still no guarantee that you will be cancer free,” Pollex said. “What will the long-term effects be on these poor kids’ systems 10, 20 and 30 years from now?” Pollex said only 4 percent of national funding goes toward childhood cancer research, and the percentage of funding allocated for ovarian cancer is equally abysmal.
Mr. Bob Douglas of Kihei, Hawaii, saw media coverage of Truex Jr. and Pollex leading into the August Pocono Race, and knew he had to help. “Martin and Sherry have been able to take a life-changing and near-death experience and turn it into an incredibly positive effort to help others,” Douglas said.
“As part of our new mission and new look we have made it our goal is to raise a half million dollars to go toward research projects for both cancers,” Truex Jr. said. “Bob has pledged $100,000 as part of a match, and with a race win, I will add another $50,000 to help reach our fundraising goal.”
The MTJ Foundation urges donors to visit online, knowing that as part of that first $100,000, each donation is matched 100 percent.
Pollex continues to work with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) to help teach women about the symptoms of ovarian cancer. An estimated 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year and 14,000 will die – a mortality rate of more than 60 percent. Ovarian cancer is called the “silent killer” because by the time the cancer is discovered, it is often too late to save a life.
To symbolize the foundation’s new mission, Switch, based in St. Louis, Missouri, created a logo that ties together both the teal color representing ovarian cancer with the gold representing childhood cancer in a ribbon reminiscent of a racetrack, as a nod to Truex Jr.’s racing roots.
“We are so proud to have helped transform Martin’s and Sherry’s passion into a logo that symbolizes support for childhood and ovarian cancers as well as the momentum of a racetrack in motion,” said Nicole Phillips with Switch, “This was a meaningful and heartfelt project.”
The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, a 501(c)(3) founded in 2007, is now dedicated to raising awareness of and funding for childhood and ovarian cancer initiatives.