Cancer Federation was founded in 1977 by a number of physicians and a young researcher who were concerned that virtually no funds were going into the important field of cancer immunology, and of equal importance, no charity was educating the public and the scientific community about this important field.
Among our first locations was a street level office in Riverside, California. It served as a magnet to people passing by who wanted to borrow books and tapes on the subject of cancer. Much free material was distributed during this time., We were receiving many phone calls and some letters, in those early days, asking us for a wide variety of things, including references to physicians and clinics, calls for help for all kinds, and request for materials on various kinds of cancer. With extremely limited funds, we did the best that we could do, and little by little the Federation continued to attract members and people who could help to promote our name and reputation. Eric Estrada, the TV star, was the first celebrity to come to our aid, allowing us to use his name to promote interest in this work. Gloria Swanson, the film star, became a life member in 1979, and blessed this work by allowing us to use her name to educate the public. She also taped a cassette for us, which we distributed, free, by the thousands.
By 1984, we were in better headquarters in the city of La Sierra, where, for the first time, we began to fund a number of researchers and our scholarship list began to noticeably increase. Such institutions as UC Riverside; UC Santa Barbara; Loyolla University; Hektoen Research Institute, and many others started to receive our support. The scholarship program at high schools and colleges also developed.
Our attempts to educate the public remained an important part of this work, as it had from the very beginning and is continuing to this day. We felt our publications were a valuable educational tool, not only for the organization, but also more importantly for the public and professionals.
We have given away hundreds of free educational tapes on a variety of subjects, as well as thousands of copies of books. We printed various educational brochures by the tens of thousands, and these were all provided free to the public. For instance, we printed a scientific treatise by one of our researchers, Dr. Aurelia Koros and we have distributed more than 10,000 copies of this booklet. We still receive requests for it. Our booklet on breast cancer had been very popular in hospitals.
The Federation has maintained an extensive audio and visual tape program over the years. Among the tapes, produced by the thousands for FREE distribution all over the nation have been the following: audio- Leslie Ralston; Dr. Virginia Livingston; Nancy Purcell; Dr. Richard Luther; Dr. Owen Wheeler; and many more. TV Tapes included a series by Dr. Virginia Livingston. We also paid for a professional tape of a benefit concert of the Cancer Federation, which featured the Ink Spots and others, and which we used in FREE distribution in order to familiarize people with this work and with the subject of cancer in general. We distributed hundreds of FREE tapes of a talk on health subjects by the film personality, Gloria Swanson, one of our many celebrity life members.
Over the years the Cancer Federation has put on dozens of conferences free to the public. Some of these meetings have been in conjunction with institutions that receive grants from us, such as San Jose State University and the University of Pittsburgh. The Cancer Federation’s history shows remarkable endurance & faithful adherence to our mission statement.