Funding Research. Saving Lives.

Funding Research. Saving Lives.


Who We Are

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama

In December of 1995, the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center 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 $7.7 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 UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and their collaborative partners.

Our research dollars allow the UAB CCC 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 has been a critical element in the success of the breast cancer disease center within the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Foundation has provided critical monies for the development and maintenance of the breast cancer research program.

In addition, the Foundation has consistently strengthened all aspects of the clinical services of the disease center. There is no doubt that breast cancer patients at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center have benefited greatly by the support supplied by the BCRFA." 

Michael J. Birrer, M.D., Ph.D. - UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center 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 UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center 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 UAB CCC uses the BCRFA donations as “seed money” to attract grant funding that turns every one dollar donated into 16 dollars!

The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center 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 Comprehensive Cancer Center 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.


 2018 Board of Directors

SEATED L TO R:  Sandra Little Brown, Kimberly Comer, Dr. Andres Forero, Jill Crawford, Carol Myers, Michael Birrer, M.D., PH.D. (Comprehensive Cancer Center), Vivian Weaver Davis, Brian Grainger, Kate Kiefer, Carol Sue Nelson.
STANDING L TO R: Mary Screws, Maudie Darby Bedford, Mauricio Papapietro, Philip Passafiume, Wendy Paschal, Joyce Crawford Mitchell, James Dye, Jill Carter, Diane Dudney, Nicholas Danella, Tom Robertshaw.
Board Members Not Pictured: Anne-Michelle Barnett, Laura Hinton, Gary Johnson, Dianne Mooney, Cathleen Moore, Stephanie Mullen, Camper O’Neal, Ryan Ramage, Dr. Caroline Reich, George Shaw, Bruce Sokol (Co-Founder), and Kay Zarzour. Emeritus and Founding Emeritus Not Pictured: Charles Baker, Kate DeWitt Darden, Susie Denson, Cherri Ellis, Cathy Friedman, Rosalind Griffin, Jason Harpe, Melinda Mathews, Amy Nance, Betsy L. Printz, Dr. Heidi Umphrey, Marion Walker, Mary Welden and Shaela Wise, 

2018 Board Officers

  • Carol Myers, BCRFA President
  • Anne-Michelle Barnett, BCRFA Vice President
  • Brian Grainger, BCRFA Treasurer
  • Tom Robertshaw, BCRFA Secretary

2018 Board of Directors

Maudie Darby Bedford
Sandra Little Brown
Jill Carter
Nicholas A. Danella
Vivian Weaver Davis
James L. Dye
Diane Dudney
Dr. Andres Forero
Laura Hinton
Gary Johnson
Kate Kiefer
Dianne Mooney
Cathleen Moore
Stephanie L. Mullen
E. Camper O'Neal
Mauricio S. Papapietro
Wendy Paschal
Philip Passafiume
Ryan Ramage
Dr. Caroline Reich
Mary Screws
George Shaw
Kay Zarzour
Dolly A. O'Neal
Bruce H. Sokol



Kimberly F. Comer
Jill Crawford
Kate DeWitt Darden
Cherri V. Ellis
Rosalind B. Griffin
Jason Harpe
Melinda M. Mathews
Joyce Crawford Mitchell
Amy E. Nance
Carol Sue Nelson
Betsy L. Printz
Dr. Heidi Umphrey
Mary Welden
Shaela Wise  
Founding Emeritus
Charles E. Baker
Susie H. Denson
Cathy O. Friedman
Betsy L. Printz
Marion F. Walker, JD