“There is so much that could be done to help this age group, and we hope gifts in our daughter Angie’s honor will make a profound difference in the quality of life and survival rates and address the particular needs of this important population.” – Chuck Fowler

In honor of Angie Fowler, who died of melanoma at age 14, The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation has dedicated a large portion of their giving to focus on adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer issues.

The AYA population (ages 13-35) requires age-targeted care for both medical and psychosocial development because these young adults have specific challenges that other age groups do not have.  Many teens and young adults fall into a gap between cancer treatment programs specifically designed for children and those designed for adults. As a result, with AYA patients, it often takes longer to get a diagnosis and start treatment. In addition, teens and young adults are much less likely than children to get the most advanced treatments offered in research studies (clinical trials).

Research has shown that the mortality rates for many cancers that target the AYA age group have not improved in more than 30 years while pediatric and adult cancers have seen an improvement.  Evidence suggests that some cancers in adolescents and young adults may have unique genetic and biological features. Researchers are working to learn more about the biology of cancers in young adults so that they can identity molecularly targeted therapies that may be effective in these cancers.

Since 2001, the Foundation and its trustees has granted more than $26 million toward research, treatment and for the continuum of care for AYA patients.  The largest grant was made in 2011 to establish The Angie Fowler Child & Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.