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HOPE Establishes Endowment Fund for the American Cancer Society
Gift to support the American Cancer Society's National Cancer Research Program


CARMEL, Ind., Oct. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- HOPE (Health Opportunity through Partnership in Education), headquartered in Carmel, Indiana has gifted the American Cancer Society (ACS) $150,000 to support world-class cancer research.

HOPE is a non-profit organization that was formed in 1982 to provide charitable funds to promote good health and to encourage scientific research and disseminate information concerning the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer and other serious diseases and accidents.

HOPE has long been associated with Washington National Insurance Company, a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group, Inc., which is based in Carmel, Indiana.  HOPE members and Washington National's 80,000 cancer policy certificate holders generously contribute to the HOPE foundation to support and promote its mission through partnerships with established non-profit organizations, such as the American Cancer Society.

HOPE established an initial gift of $100,000 as an endowment with the American Cancer Society to help fund cancer researchers who apply to the Society's peer-reviewed grant program.

The ACS is the largest private funder of cancer research in the nation and receives more funding requests than it is able to support.  "Each year, too many approved and outstanding grants go unfunded because ACS dollars eventually run out," said Dr. David Ringer, the Society's national vice president of extramural research.  "This endowment is a great example of how corporations and individuals can get involved and help us add needed resources to our war on cancer.  We thank HOPE and Washington National Insurance Company for this generous gift."

"On behalf of HOPE, I am pleased that we have this opportunity to support the American Cancer Society in their mission of saving lives from cancer," said Barbara Stewart, president of HOPE. "Through the contributions of Washington National certificate holders and HOPE, the American Cancer Society will now have additional support to conduct research toward eliminating the causes of cancer."

HOPE made a second gift of $50,000 to support the work of Dr. Michael Verneris, a current ACS grantee and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota.  His project seeks to understand how natural killer cells can be used not only to kill cancer cells, but also to reduce chemotherapy-induced injury to the lymph nodes and intestine.

According to Dr. Douglas Yee, director of the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota, "We are very appreciative of this supplement to Dr. Verneris's research.  Translating our laboratory findings into changes in clinical practice is a major focus of the Masonic Cancer Center. Dr. Verneris is a key member of the pediatric bone marrow transplant group, and he has a number of clinical trials testing this promising natural killer cell therapy. This supplement will accelerate research in this area."



About HOPE
HOPE (Health Opportunity through Partnership in Education) is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1982.  With nearly 80,000 members, HOPE's mission is to promote good health, to encourage scientific research, and to disseminate information about the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer and other serious diseases and accidents.  For more information, visit


About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer.  As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community.  We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight.  As the nation's largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do.  As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year.  To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit


About Washington National Insurance Company
Washington National Insurance Company, a subsidiary of CNO Financial Group, Inc., has helped Americans since 1923 to protect themselves and their families from the financial hardship that often comes with critical illness, accidents or loss of life.  The company's supplemental health and life insurance products are designed to help give policyholders and their loved ones peace of mind. Policyholders can depend on Washington National to be a strong, caring partner in helping to provide financial security for them and their families.



SOURCE Washington National Insurance Company