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Detroit Police Chief Ralph L. Godbee, Jr., presented Donation of $40,812 to Karmanos for Breast Cancer Research

Video by Sgt. Alan Quinn

Continuing the Detroit Police Department’s generous support for cancer research, Detroit Chief of Police Ralph L. Godbee, Jr., presented a generous donation of $40,812 to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute on Jan. 18 for breast cancer research. Accepting the check was Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of the Karmanos Cancer Institute; and Wei-Zen Wei, Ph.D., associate center director, Basic Research, at Karmanos and Wayne State University School of Medicine. The contributions are a result of the funds raised by the Detroit Police Department’s “Real Men Wear Pink” Holiday Ball, held this past December.

This is the second time since 2008 that the Detroit Police Department has supported breast cancer research at Karmanos. The first event, called “Pink Ball” raised over $24,000, making the total contributions from the Detroit Police Department more than $65,000.

“We are extremely grateful to Chief Godbee and the entire Detroit Police Department, as well as all those who supported the Real Men Wear Pink Holiday Ball,” said Dr. Bepler. “I can assure you that the funds raised will greatly support the work of Karmanos’ dedicated research team who work tirelessly to develop new treatments for patients diagnosed with breast cancer, as well as other cancers, so we can one day achieve our vision of a world free of cancer.” 

Dr. Bepler presented a plaque of appreciation to Chief Godbee and representatives of the Detroit Police Department who were on hand for the check presentation.

Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., and Wei-Zen Wei, Ph.D., from Karmanos presented a special plaque of appreciation to Chief Godbee and the Detroit Police Department.

"Like many others in the Detroit Police Department and in our community, my family has been personally impacted by breast cancer,” said Chief Godbee. “Watching first-hand the devastation that this disease causes when early detection and treatment aren't present, I know all too well what an insidious disease this is. I’m proud to represent the dedicated men and women of the Detroit Police Department who, even in the toughest of times, continue to do all they can to help others in our community, while raising such a significant amount of money to help in finding a cure for breast cancer.”  

Breast cancer continues to be the leading diagnosed cancer in women, however a small percentage of men are also diagnosed with this disease. In 2012, it’s estimated that more than 7,700 new cases of breast cancer will occur in Michigan alone.   

Chief Godbee, Dr. Bepler and Dr. Wei are joined by members of the Detroit Police Department’s “Real Men Wear Pink” Planning Committee.

 More than 350 people attended the “Real Men Wear Pink” Holiday Ball, which was held at the Roostertail and emceed by Glenda Lewis of WXYZ-TV Channel 7. Festivities included a formal black-tie dinner; remarks by Chief Godbee, Jr. and Nick Karmanos, senior vice president of Institutional Relations, Karmanos Cancer Institute; live musical entertainment and dancing; and a raffle and silent auction featuring Detroit sports teams memorabilia, gift baskets, overnight stays at various Detroit hotels, a mink teddy bear from Dittrich Furs, and golf packages, among other items.

“We very much appreciate the generosity of the Detroit Police Department and those who attended the ball in support of our relentless pursuit to eradicate this terrible disease,” said Karmanos. “Our researchers are contributing game-changing breakthroughs in the treatment of breast cancer and these funds will ensure that we continue developing therapies that will completely cure or greatly prolong the lives of cancer patients.”

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