By Sheila Jones
Today, our team is within a few hundred dollars of reaching our $30,000 fundraising goal for the first ever cancer grant named after Martina McBride.
So you may be wondering…
Why are we giving this money to the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center and The TJ Martell Foundation in Nashville? All those words are a mouthful!
Who are they and what do they do?
Undoubtedly you have heard a lot about cancer and cancer research already in your life time. There are thousands of grants and funds established and thousands of doctors around the world looking for cures.
One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to unite cancer fighting country music fans with a cancer fighting foundation that has a unique understanding of how music heals. Simply put… I have a dream to see the power and love of music help heal and love people through cancer.
And a team of Martina McBride fans has taken up this dream with me big time.
The TJ Martell Foundation caught my eye because they are deeply rooted in the music industry and Martina has already worked with them on past events to raise money for cancer causes.
I called them up and asked them, this past Spring, if we could meet in Nashville and talk. They made me feel so welcome and they took me very seriously when I described my dream to them. I knew from our first meeting that they would be instrumental in helping us make fun and inspiring events happen on the way to this dream.
But that’s not all… I did my homework and found that The TJ Martell Foundation funds very special kinds of early stage cancer research - the kind of research that doesn’t always get funding from any other sources and might not other wise happen. Cures for some cancers may very well come from these innovative and unique projects happening at places like Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville.
That brings me to another dream… our teammate Taira from the video for “I’m Gonna Love You Through It”. Taira is suffering from a very aggressive and less common type of breast cancer called triple negative. This cancer seems to strike a lot of young women not in the typical age group for breast cancer. Aggressive and urgent research is needed to develop more clinical trials to get quicker treatments for cancers like Taira’s.
This cancer is quickly taking away young mothers, sisters, wives, and friends.
We can’t wait on this one… we need something now. And Taira is depending on Vanderbilt to heal her and give her more time.
The TJ Martell Foundation specifically funds quick turn around bench to bedside cancer research. They are speeding up the process to develop clinical trials and treatments and get them to patients faster.
They also work to leverage donations like ours into larger grants… $30,000 can become the seed money for Vanderbilt researchers to receive amounts such as $100,000 for a new cancer test or treatment.
Lastly, I wanted us to be able to meet the actual researchers that would be using the money we raised and lay hands on the place where this special work would happen. And several of our team members were able to go to Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center this Fall and meet these doctors and pray over them and their work inside this hospital.
It was a very special day.
“I am thankful for all the talented music artists who give us joy, let us know we aren’t alone in our sorrows, and inspire us to do great things. You are truly a gift from God.” - Eric Brown, Team Martina member
To donate online to the Martina McBride Breast Cancer Grant, please visit