March 8, 2016

Cancer research fund set up at Weill Cornell in honor of Garrett

Memorial funds established

The Marmor and Garrett families ask that memorial gifts be directed to either Student Scholarships in memory of President Elizabeth Garrett, in support of students with need on the Ithaca campus, or to the President Elizabeth Garrett Fund for Colon Cancer Research at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Gifts to either fund can be made online, by calling 1-800-279-3099, or by mailing a check to Cornell University, P.O. Box 25842, Lehigh Valley, PA 18003-9692.

Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett succumbed to colon cancer March 6, but one of her wishes has come true.

“Before her untimely death, Beth expressed her desire to create a fund at Weill Cornell Medicine to advance research in colon cancer,” wrote Dr. Laurie Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine, in a letter to the institution.

Glimcher announced March 8 the launch of the President Elizabeth Garrett Fund for Colon Cancer Research. The fund, she added, “is a fitting tribute to a wonderful individual who was committed to Cornell, to public service and to compassionate patient care.”

Garrett formally made public that she had been diagnosed with colon cancer in a statement on Feb. 8. She was being treated by a team of doctors at Weill Cornell Medicine.

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. The number of new colorectal cancer cases in the United States in 2016 is expected to reach 95,270 cases of colon cancer and 39,220 cases of rectal cancer. These cancers are also expected to cause about 49,190 deaths during 2016.

The American Cancer Society recommends most adults start screening for colorectal cancer at age 50, unless there is a family history of the disease, in which case screenings are recommended at age 45.

“It is a tragedy that Beth’s life was cut short so soon,” wrote Glimcher. “It’s also a painful reminder of why we’re all here – to advance medical research and offer patients the best care, so that they can achieve their dreams and live as fully as possible.”