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September 29, 2015 Kim Maialetti
  Wendy Marano


Fifth Annual Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund Benefit Dinner Raises More Than $150,000 for MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper

CAMDEN, N.J. Susan Bass Levin, President and CEO of The Cooper Foundation, announced tonight that the Fifth Annual Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund Dinner raised more than $140,000 for the lung cancer program at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.

More than 300 people gathered at Ponzio’s Diner-Baker-Bar in Cherry Hill for the dinner, which celebrated the life of Jim Fifis, who was the long-time owner of Ponzio’s before he died of lung cancer in 2007.

“As the owner of Ponzio’s, Jim Fifis always gave back to the community,” said Levin. “His family and friends are continuing his legacy by joining the fight against lung cancer and supporting innovative programs to wipe out this deadly disease.”

Prior to his passing, Fifis asked his three sons, Chris, Nick and John to advocate for a cure for lung cancer and to work to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking.

“My father taught us about the importance of helping others,” said Nick Fifis. “Even when he was sick, he was less concerned about himself and more concerned about how we can save other people and families from the suffering that lung cancer brings.”

Since its founding in 2011, the Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund has raised a total of $500,000 for lung cancer research at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.

“Our lung cancer program at MD Anderson Cooper combines compassionate medical care with innovative science and state-of-the-art technologies to provide the best possible outcomes for each patient,” said Generosa Grana, M.D., Director of MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. “We are incredibly grateful to the Fifis family and The Cooper Foundation for helping us combat one of South Jersey’s deadliest diseases.”

Approximately 1 in 13 men and 1 in 16 women will get lung cancer in their lifetime, and according to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the single largest cancer killer in New Jersey. South Jersey residents have lung cancer rates that exceed the state average. While cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, 10 percent to 15 percent of lung cancer patients have never smoked. Research, early detection and clinical trials are the most effective weapons to diagnose and treat lung cancer at its earliest stage where complete remission has the greatest opportunity.

The Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund provides support to lung cancer clinical research programs, the high-risk lung cancer screening program and the utilization of several innovative diagnostic tools for the diagnosis and staging of lung cancer, including endobronchial ultrasound.

“MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper is transforming cancer care in the Delaware Valley,” said George E. Norcross, III, Chairman of Cooper University Health Care. “I thank the Fifis family and the community for their generous support of Cooper and for sharing our commitment to advancing research that will improve the way we diagnosis and treat lung cancer.”

The Fifth Annual Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund Dinner was sponsored by Ponzio’s along with Title Sponsor Spring Hill Senior Communities and Premier Sponsors Cherry Hill Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram; Vi Fifis; Donna and Rick Forman of Forman Mills; Friedman, LLP; Holman Automotive Group, Inc.; Ravitz Family Foundation; TD Bank, N.A.; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and The Women's Board Committee of The Cooper Foundation.

About MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper

MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper is a fully integrated partnership between Cooper University Healthcare and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center - a world-renowned cancer center, which began in September 2013. MD Anderson at Cooper physicians adhere to the philosophy, process and guidelines set by MD Anderson in Houston, Texas, and patients receive the same proven practice standards and treatment protocols provided at MD Anderson. Disease-site specific multidisciplinary teams consisting of physicians, nurses and other clinical specialists work together to provide cancer patients with advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies, access to wide range of groundbreaking clinical trials and dynamic patient-physician relationships. A full complement of support services provides complete, compassionate care for our patients. MD Anderson at Cooper is the only accredited American College of Surgeons Academic Cancer Program in South Jersey. Cancer services are based in Camden at the new $100 million MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper located on the Health Sciences Campus as well as in Voorhees, New Jersey.