Funding Research. Saving Lives.

Funding Research. Saving Lives.


Who We Are

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama

In December of 1995, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center introduced two people who had a shared experience with breast cancer. Dolly O'Neal, an 18-month breast cancer survivor, was one of those people. The other was Bruce Sokol, whose wife D. D. was undergoing breast cancer treatment at the time. Both shared a fervent desire to do something to fight this disease.

The following year, they founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama, and have since contributed over $6.75 million to fund research for a cure.

Our Mission: “To help find a cure for breast cancer by funding promising Breast Cancer Research and to raise community awareness and funding for that research.”

What We Do

Funding Research for a Cure

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama raises funding for cutting-edge breast cancer research at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and their collaborative partners.

Our research dollars allow the UAB CCC to successfully compete and receive sought-after and sustaining grant dollars, recruit and retain world-class breast cancer researchers, and seize every opportunity for groundbreaking discovery.


 The support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama has been key to the success of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center's breast cancer research program, now recognized among the premier research programs in the United States. This longstanding partnership between the Cancer Center and BCRFA has provided our investigators with the resources to accelerate discovery and translate new knowledge into meaningful therapies for all types of breast cancer including the difficult-to-treat triple negative breast cancer.

In 2014, we recognized the immense contribution that the BCRFA has made by naming our central atrium in the newly renovated Wallace Tumor Institute 'The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama Atrium.' We look forward to a future of new discovery and the elimination of breast cancer as a public health program, all in partnership with BCRFA.” - Dr. Edward Partridge, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Director

Why We Fund Research

It's Personal

boys and mothers 

Breast Cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosis in American women. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women.

As heartbreaking as these statistics are, we have great cause for hope. Thirty years ago, four out of five breast cancer patients lost their lives to this disease. Today, that statistic is reversed, with four out of five patients winning the battle against breast cancer. There are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors currently living in the United States.

Clinicians, scientists, and advocates who work to secure the resources necessary to eliminate cancer as a major public health concern share in this success. The partnership between the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama and the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is a shining example of the progress that can be made and the lives that can be saved when people work together in true collaboration.

To the BCRFA and our supporters, one out of five losing their battle is one too many. 

How We Fund Research

Your Support Saves Lives!

The BCRFA provides funding to breast cancer research programs in Alabama through Event Sponsorships, Corporate and Individual Donations, Community Fundraising and through the sale of our “Funding Research…Saving Lives” specialty Alabama license plates for vehicles and motorcycles.

Funds raised by the BCRFA remain in Alabama, supporting local research, which in turn makes a national impact.

Effective stewardship of our donations creates a multiplier effect. The UAB CCC uses the BCRFA donations as “seed money” to attract grant funding that turns every one dollar donated into 16 dollars!

The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of 16 national academic medical centers that make up the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium.

Key Fact: The Consortium is 100% philanthropy-funded. The Comprehensive Cancer Center members work collaboratively and rely on philanthropic seed dollars to secure sustaining grant money. Funding is targeted to translate basic discoveries into new cancer treatments.

90% of funds received by the BCRFA go to support our mission of raising awareness and funding for breast cancer research in Alabama. For further information on how the BCRFA stewards the resourced received from our supporters, please review copies of our latest Financial Audit and Form 990.


 2017 Board of Directors

SEATED L TO R:  Kate DeWitt Darden, Kate Kiefer, Camper O'Neal, Carol Myers, Dr. Ed Partridge (Comprehensive Cancer Center), Bruce Sokol (Co-Founder), Phil Passafiume, Brian Grainger, Dr. Andres Forero, Cathy Friedman.

STANDING L TO R: Ryan Ramage, Mery Welden, Cathleen Moore, Anne-Michelle Barnett, Jill Carter, Joyce Crawford Mitchell, Dr. Caroline Reich, Jill Crawford, Tom Robertshaw, Mauricio Papapietro. 
Board Members Not Pictured: Sandra Little Brown, Dr. Jennifer De Los Santos, Diane Dudney, Laura Hinton, Dianne Mooney, Carol Sue Nelson, Stephanie L. Mullen, Amy E. Nance, Dr. Heidi Umphrey, Shaela Wise, Kay Zarzour.  Emeritus and Founding Emeritus Not Pictured: Charles E. Baker, Kimberly F. Comer, Susie H. Denson, Cherri V. Ellis, Rosalind B. Griffin, Jason Harpe, Melinda M. Mathews, Betsy L. Printz, and Marion F. Walker.  

2017 Board Officers

  • Carol Myers, BCRFA President
  • Anne-Michelle Barnett, BCRFA Vice President
  • Brian Grainger, BCRFA Treasurer
  • Tom Robertshaw, BCRFA Secretary

2017 Board of Directors

Sandra Little Brown
Jill Crawford
Dr. Jennifer De Los Santos
Diane Dudney
Dr. Andres Forero
Laura Hinton
Joyce Crawford Mitchell
Dianne Mooney
Cathleen Moore
Stephanie L. Mullen
Amy E. Nance
E. Camper O'Neal
Mauricio S. Papapietro
Philip Passafiume
Ryan Ramage
Dr. Caroline Reich
Dr. Heidi Umphrey
Shaela Wise
Kay Zarzour
Kate Kiefer
Carol Sue Nelson
Dolly A. O'Neal
Bruce H. Sokol


Jill Carter
Kimberly F. Comer
Kate DeWitt Darden
Cherri V. Ellis
Rosalind B. Griffin
Melinda M. Mathews
Mary Welden  
Founding Emeritus
Charles E. Baker
Susie H. Denson
Cathy O. Friedman
Betsy L. Printz
Marion F. Walker, JD