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 almost $10 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.

 "Without the significant support of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama, we simply wouldn't have a leading breast cancer research program that brings so many important, cutting-edge scientific discoveries to the patients of this state. It's an exciting time for breast cancer research as the pace of new scientific discoveries is rapidly improving the treatments available for these patients. This is why, more than ever, it is critical that all breast cancer patients be treated at an institution where they benefit from the very latest research.

It takes thousands of hours from volunteers and thousands of contributions from caring, committed people accross the state to provide the support for these important discoveries that will ultimately put an end to breast cancer. Together, as a united team, we will bring promising new therapies right to our patients, and that is what drives all of us."

Barry Sleckman, M.D., Ph.D. - O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB Director

Click here to learn about advances made in research in 2019. 

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 Brest Cancer Research 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.


2020 Board of Directors

SEATED L TO R: Cathy Friedman (Advisory Committee), Jean C. Thompson, Bruce Sokol (Co-Founder), Beth Bradner Davis (Executive Director), Jill Carter (President), Dr. Barry Sleckman (Medical Advisory Council), Dianne Mooney, Laura Hinton, Mary Weldon, Vivian Weaver Davis 

STANDING L TO R: E. Camper O'Neal (Advisory Committe), Mauricio Papapietro, Ryan Ramage, Brian Grainger (Treasurer), Philip Passafiume (Vice President), Carol Myers, Maudie Darby Bedford, Kate Kiefer, James Dye, Greg Schumann, Gary Johnson, Diane Dudney, Renee Steed, Wendy Paschal, Kate DeWitt Darden (Advisory Committee), Kay Zarzour (Advisory Committee), Cherri Ellis (Advisory Committee)

Board Members Not Pictured: Sandra Brown, Nicholas Danella, Cathleen Moore, Carol Sue Mitchell, Caroline Reich, Mary Screws, George Shaw

2020 Board Officers

  • Jill N. Carter, BCRFA President
  • Philip Passafiume, BCRFA Vice President
  • Brian Grainger, BCRFA Treasurer
  • Laura Hinton, BCRFA Secretary

2020 Board of Directors

2020 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
Greg Schumann
Mary Screws
George Shaw
Renee Steed
Jean C. Thompson
Medical Advisory Council
Ravi Bhatia, MD, PhD
Andres Forero, MD
Edward Partridge, MD
Barry Sleckman, MD, PhD
Dolly A. O'Neal
Bruce H. Sokol

Advisory Committee

2020 Advisory Committee
Charles Baker
Anne-Michelle Barnett
Kim Comer
Kate Darden
Susie Denson
Cherri Ellis
Cathy Friedman
Rosalind Griffin
Shane Hill
Melinda Mathews
Joyce Crawford Mitchell
Stephanie Mullen
Betsy Printz
Tom Robertshaw
Marion Walker
Mary Weldon
Shaela Wise
Kay Zarzour


Beth Bradner Davis
Executive Director
Giselle Casadaban
Marketing and Communications Manager
Amy Passey
Administrative Assistant
Ashley Thomas
Administrative Assistant