Funding Research. Saving Lives.

Funding Research. Saving Lives.


Who We Are

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama

In December of 1995, the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB introduced two people who had a shared experience with breast cancer. Dolly O'Neal, an 18-month breast cancer survivor, was one of those people. The other was Bruce Sokol, whose wife D. D. was undergoing breast cancer treatment at the time. Both shared a fervent desire to do something to fight this disease.

The following year, they founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama, and have since contributed over $8.7 million to fund research for a cure.

Our Mission: “To help find a cure for breast cancer by funding promising Breast Cancer Research in Alabama and to raise community awareness and funding for that research.”

What We Do

Funding Research for a Cure

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama raises funding for cutting-edge breast cancer research at the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Centerat UAB and their collaborative partners.

Our research dollars allow the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB to successfully compete and receive sought-after and sustaining grant dollars, recruit and retain world-class breast cancer researchers, and seize every opportunity for groundbreaking discovery.


 "The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama is critical in making our breast cancer research program one of the best in the country," said Ravi Bhatia, M.D., Ph.D., the interim director of the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB. "Patients come to the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center because they can be seen by clinical breast cancer experts and receive the most promising therapies based upon the ongoing research program. The BCRFA is a perfect example of motivating the community to support new and evolving research."

Ravi Bhatia, M.D. - O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB Interim Director

Why We Fund Research

It's Personal

boys and mothers 

Breast Cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosis in American women. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women.

As heartbreaking as these statistics are, we have great cause for hope. Thirty years ago, four out of five breast cancer patients lost their lives to this disease. Today, that statistic is reversed, with four out of five patients winning the battle against breast cancer. There are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors currently living in the United States.

Clinicians, scientists, and advocates who work to secure the resources necessary to eliminate cancer as a major public health concern share in this success. The partnership between the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama and the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB is a shining example of the progress that can be made and the lives that can be saved when people work together in true collaboration.

To the BCRFA and our supporters, one out of five losing their battle is one too many. 

How We Fund Research

Your Support Saves Lives!

The BCRFA provides funding to breast cancer research programs in Alabama through Event Sponsorships, Corporate and Individual Donations, Community Fundraising and through the sale of our “Funding Research…Saving Lives” specialty Alabama license plates for vehicles and motorcycles.

Funds raised by the BCRFA remain in Alabama, supporting local research, which in turn makes a national impact.

Effective stewardship of our donations creates a multiplier effect. The O'Neal CCC at UAB uses the BCRFA donations as “seed money” to attract grant funding that turns every one dollar donated into 16 dollars!

The O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB is one of 19 national academic medical centers that make up the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium.

Key Fact: The Consortium is 100% philanthropy-funded. The O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB members work collaboratively and rely on philanthropic seed dollars to secure sustaining grant money. Funding is targeted to translate basic discoveries into new cancer treatments.

90% of funds received by the BCRFA go to support our mission of raising awareness and funding for breast cancer research in Alabama. For further information on how the BCRFA stewards the resourced received from our supporters, please review copies of our latest Financial Audit and Form 990.


 2019 Board of Directors

SEATED L TO R:  Brian Grainger (Advisory Committee), Jean C. Thompson, Maudie Darby Bedford, Vivian Weaver Davis, Jill N. Carter, Carol Myers, Laura Hinton (Secretary), Carley Ezzell (Treasurer), Cathy O. Fredman (Advisory Committee), Beth Bradner Davis (Executive Director)
STANDING L TO R: Mauricio Papapietro, Kate DeWitt Darden (Advisory Committee), Philip Passafiume (Vice President), Kate Kiefer, James L. Dye, Wendy Paschal, Carol Sue Mitchell, Cherri V. Ellis (Advisory Committee), E. Camper O'Neal (Advisory Committee), Ryan Ramage, Gary Johnson
Board Members Not Pictured: Nicholas A. Danella, Dianne Mooney, Cathleen Moore, Dr. Caroline Reich, Tom Robertshaw, Mary Screws, George Shaw, and Kay Zarzour


2019 Board Officers

  • Jill N. Carter, BCRFA President
  • Philip Passafiume, BCRFA Vice President
  • Carley Ezzell, BCRFA Treasurer
  • Laura Hinton, BCRFA Secretary

2019 Board of Directors

Maudie Darby Bedford
Sandra Little Brown
Nicholas A. Danella
Vivian Weaver Davis
Diane Dudney
James L. Dye
Gary Johnson
Kate Kiefer
Carol Sue Mitchell
Dianne Mooney
Cathleen Moore
Carol Myers
Mauricio S. Papapietro
Wendy Paschal
Ryan Ramage
Dr. Caroline Reich
Tom Robertshaw
Mary Screws
George Shaw
Jean C. Thompson
Kay Zarzour
Medical Advisory Council
Michael Birrer, MD, PhD
Andres Forero, MD
Edward Partridge, MD
Dolly A. O'Neal
Bruce H. Sokol

Advisory Committee


Charles Baker
Anne-Michelle Barnett
Kim Comer
Jill Crawford
Kate Darden
Susie Denson
Cherri Ellis
Cathy Friedman
Brian Grainger
Rosalind Griffin
Jason Harpe
Shane Hill
Melinda Mathews
Stephanie Mullen
Amy Nance
Camper O'Neal
Betsy Printz
Dr. Hedi Umphrey
Marion Walker
Mary Weldon


Beth Bradner Davis
Executive Director
Stephanie Salvago
Marketing and Development Manager
Amy Passey
Administrative Assistant