Family of former cancer patient donates $250,000 to Norton Cancer Institute

Family of former cancer patient donates $250,000 to Norton Cancer Institute
Steven Vanover passed away from a rare form of cancer at the age of 23.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A family is changing the game when it comes to cancer care.

The family of former patient, Steven Vanover, donated $250,000 to Norton Cancer Institute for a new genomics lab. Vanover passed away at just 23 after battling sarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

Shortly after, his friends and family created the Steven Vanover Foundation.

“In his final days, in order to treat his family, friends and staff on the floor he opened his wallet and ordered pizzas for everyone. He was concerned about everyone’s well-being after spending a long day in the hospital with him," Lauren Raque, with the Steven Vanover Foundation, said. "When he passed away, we formed the Steven Vanover Foundation to reflect the generous spirit that Steven embodied and to give back to the community and those affected by rare cancers.”

Lauren Raque talked about why Vanover's friends and family founded the Steven Vanover Foundation. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Lauren Raque talked about why Vanover's friends and family founded the Steven Vanover Foundation. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

Thursday’s donation will help fund new lab technology called Next Generation Sequencing. It’ll allow for faster lab results that help doctors find personalized treatment options for patients.

Right now, Norton uses an outside vendor to do that.

The new lab should help get patients results in half the current time.

“The last five years have been phenomenal in our fight against cancer. The next five years and particularly in Louisville, now because of this, it’s going to be like nothing we’d ever imagined,” Dr. Joseph Flynn, with Norton Cancer Institute, said.

The new technology is expected to arrive this fall.

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