It was the heart-breaking moment in a hospital room in 1974 when music industry executive Tony Martell promised his dying son T.J. that he would raise $1 million for research so that other kids with cancer could live longer lives.
T.J. Martell had leukemia, a cancer of the body's blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. At that time, few treatments could help T.J. So he bravely decided that if he couldn't be cured, he wanted his father to make a promise to help find a cure so that others could be saved.
Tony Martell made good on his promise, and thanks to the support of the music industry, he started the T.J. Martell Foundation.
Since then, the T.J. Martell Foundation has funded leading NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States, focusing on early-stage research conducted with the brightest minds in clinical and translational cancer science. The bench-to-bedside process of funding promising research that will lead to clinical trials and drug discoveries has been the Foundation's interest since the organization's launch in 1975.