Donor Spotlight: Kelly Cares Foundation

Donor Spotlight: Kelly Cares Foundation

Paqui and Brian Kelly (pictured from left to right) founded the Kelly Cares Foundation in 2006.
Kelly Cares Foundation recently became one of the newest supporters of the Conquer Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award program, the flagship program started by ASCO in 1984 to support early-career cancer researchers. The mission of Kelly Cares Foundation is to inspire hope by investing resources to improve health and education. Brian and Paqui Kelly founded the organization in 2006 while Ms. Kelly was undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Supporting a Young Investigator Award

Kelly Cares Foundation is generously supporting a 2017 Young Investigator Award through the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO. This grant will advance cancer research, nurture the career of a promising young scientist, and lead to improved treatments for patients.

“Without research, there is no hope to eradicate the disease. The Kelly Cares Foundation is honored to be in a position to help the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO fund a young investigator. We are passionate that research cures cancer,” Ms. Kelly said.

“The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO is delighted and honored to partner with Kelly Cares Foundation to support a Young Investigator Award. We share Brian and Paqui’s passion for supporting cutting-edge research that has the potential to save lives and make progress against cancer,” Nancy R. Daly, MS, MPH, executive vice president and chief philanthropic officer of the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO, said.

Becoming a Patient Advocate

Ms. Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 after a lumpectomy to remove suspicious cysts, despite being told that there was a “one in a million chance” that the cysts would be cancerous. Faith, family, and friends supported her through several months of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments that, thankfully, yielded positive results.

In 2007, Ms. Kelly was diagnosed with a second, more aggressive breast cancer and began another round of treatment that included lumpectomy and chemotherapy. Buoyed by wonderful medical and family support, she subsequently opted to have a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery and has been declared cancer free ever since.

The heartbeat of Ms. Kelly’s strength through her cancer diagnoses was the strong support system provided by her friends and family, which, sadly, is not the case for all patients enduring an illness. Ms. Kelly is a strong patient advocate and hopes to pay it forward to others needing that same support.

Making a Difference in the Community

In December of 2009, Brian became head coach of the Notre Dame football team, which has provided a unique platform for the Kelly Cares Foundation to make a difference in their community and the lives of those affected by cancer. The Foundation hosts multiple events throughout the year to bring attention to the health and educational needs of their community and communities all over the world.

To date, the Kelly Cares Foundation has generously provided more than $3.5 million in financial support to a multitude of causes. Beneficiaries of its philanthropy have included Ronald McDonald House Charities; Memorial Children’s Hospital; a mobile medical unit in the South Bend, Indiana community; RiverBend Cancer Services; Mike and Josie Harper Cancer Research Institute; Breast Cancer Research Foundation; LIVESTRONG at the YMCA; and the Boys and Girls Clubs. Kelly Cares Foundation is especially proud of the opening of the Paqui and Brian Kelly Comprehensive Breast Center at Saint Joseph Health System.

Learn more about Kelly Cares Foundation at and about the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO at