Stories of Success and Creativity

From the President

As I look back on this challenging year during which COVID-19 has touched all of us, our Moffitt family of supporters has stood with us and helped to bring hope to the thousands of patients who have continued to seek care at our facilities. We thank you for your gifts, and we celebrate the many benefits they have brought to our patients, researchers and physicians.

THIS HAS BEEN A YEAR FOR CREATIVITY. We missed the opportunity to see so many of you in person, so we headed off in new directions — creating virtual events to showcase our most cutting-edge research innovations that increase cancer survival and quality of life. In lieu of our two largest in-person fundraisers, the Magnolia Ball was transformed into a virtual groundbreaking event for our new Moffitt expansion hospital, set to open in 2023. Miles for Moffitt also took a virtual turn, inviting its thousands of supporters to Move for What Matters in an online celebration. Thank you for supporting these events.

I very much look forward to the coming year and the opportunity to introduce you to our new President and CEO Dr. Patrick Hwu, who joined us from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in November. His arrival marks the onset of a new era at Moffitt, one that will be filled with extraordinary advances in the treatment of cancer. Your partnership with us is more important than ever as we seek to push the boundaries as never before. You will get an insider’s look at Dr. Hwu in the section below.

We wish you a healthy and prosperous 2021.

MARIA C. MULLER Foundation President,
Chief Philanthropy Officer

Welcome our new CEO, Dr. Patrick Hwu

After an extensive national search, Patrick Hwu, MD, joined Moffitt Cancer Center in November as our new President and Chief Executive Officer. He steps into the role with the perfect blend of skills and experience.

  • He is one of the world’s top immunologists.
  • He has a proven track record for leading collaborative teams to make breakthroughs in science while improving cancer outcomes for cancer patients.
  • He is known as a visionary and dynamic leader, leaving the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he led the largest medical oncology practice in the world.

Dr. Hwu has 33 years of oncology experience as a physician-scientist, with the last 17 at MD Anderson, where he held various leadership roles and helped pioneer the field of gene-modified T cells. He received his medical degree from The Medical College of Pennsylvania and trained at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the National Cancer Institute, where he worked with Dr. Steven Rosenberg, a pioneer in the development of immunotherapy.

As Moffitt’s Institute Board Chair Tim Adams puts it, “Dr. Hwu is highly motivated to ease the world’s cancer burden. The future is bright at Moffitt, and we are excited for him to lead our team forward.”

It is my distinct honor and privilege to be selected as the next president and CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center, which has made unprecedented strides in its 34 years in the prevention and treatment of cancer. I look forward to bringing my years of experience as a cancer physician, researcher and leader to help advance the outstanding work already underway by the teams of cancer experts at Florida’s top-ranked cancer hospital.

I’m confident that our collective efforts will further elevate Moffitt’s leadership in cancer patient care, research and education.

— Patrick Hwu, MD,
President and CEO, Moffitt Cancer Center
At Moffit We Are

Moffitt serves patients from all 67 Florida counties, 50 states, and more than 130 countries.


Moffitt is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Florida, and one of only 51 in the country.


individual patients were served at Moffitt in 2020, resulting in more than 473,000 outpatient visits.

Over 720

active interventional clinical trials with more than 1,900 patients enrolled in 2020. Of these, over 250 were initiated by Moffitt researchers.


people are employed across our 52-area campus, with three million square feet devoted to research and patient care.

A World
of Impact

Moffitt Cancer Center seeks to change the world when it comes to cancer. To bring hope to the hundreds of thousands of people who are impacted every year. To bring change to how we tackle this difficult disease. And to bring certainty in knowing we must persevere, we must be successful, and we must make an impact.

Moffitt Leads

Success begins with you. Your generous support has propelled Moffitt onto the global stage, showcasing our strengths in life-changing research and also sharing our very personal way of caring for patients as if each one was a beloved friend and neighbor.

Moffitt is world renowned for the depth and breadth of its research into how immunotherapy can redefine cancer treatments, quality of life, and patient outcomes. Our success stories are breaking new boundaries.

Moffitt has become one of the world's first cancer centers with a dedicated machine learning department, which will accelerate cancer research by translating powerful tools from the computer to the bedside.

Moffitt pioneers the development of educational tools to specifically address LGBTQ issues in cancer care after undertaking the first nationwide survey to identify gaps in attitudes, knowledge and institutional practices.

Immunotherapy: Leading the Way In New Discoveries

New Options in Treatment, Cancer Detection and Monitoring on the Way

Moffitt continues to distinguish itself as a world leader in the development of novel immuno­therapy treatments, capitalizing on the natural power of the body’s immune system to defend itself against the growth and spread of cancerous cells. Because of gifts like yours, immunotherapy trials are now available for patients with a variety of advanced-stage, solid and liquid tumors including melanoma, sarcoma, and brain, lung, breast, cervical, and head and neck cancers.

In the Gastrointestinal Tumor Program, significant progress has been made in developing novel immunotherapy treatment options for patients where previous treatments have largely been ineffective. The program’s team of clinicians and immunologists is formulating therapies for each patient’s distinct tumor composition based on a highly unique clinical platform Moffitt created with an industry partner.

Optimizing Care through Machine Learning

New Department, New Breakthroughs

With the launch of its machine learning department, Moffitt researchers are poised to identify new complex patterns from data that will be used to:

  • Diagnose cancer earlier
  • Identify novel drug targets for treatment
  • Predict patient response to certain therapies
  • Optimize personalized care plans

Moffitt is ahead of the game with this department and its prospect of making personalized medicine a reality. I never thought there would be a machine learning department at a medical institution at this early stage.

— Dr. Issam El Naqa, Machine Learning Department Chair

Learn More >

Tackling LGBTQ Cancer Care Disparities

COLORS Delivering a Critical First Step

Moffitt Cancer Center is leading the nation in addressing the issues facing LGBTQ cancer patients through the launch of a nation-wide survey and the creation of new educational programs.

The survey was supported by a Miles for Moffitt Milestone Award and our Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute. The research team, led by Matthew Schabath, PhD, surveyed 450 oncologists from 45 National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers. Just over a third of oncologists surveyed felt they understood the needs of transgender patients.

The Curriculum for Oncologists on LGBTQ populations to Optimize Relevance and Skills, or COLORS Training Program, covers general topics such as sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as oncology-focused topics, including fertility and hormone therapy for LGBTQ patients undergoing cancer treatment. The researchers are seeking funding to expand the training program across the U.S.

Learn More >

Expanding Moffitt Science Through Pioneering Research

Your Philanthropy at Work

Much like planting a garden, creating new avenues of investigative research often takes preliminary investments of time and resources to create what may be the advances of the future. Your investments in Moffitt Cancer Center research often are the seed funding for research projects that later allow our investigator to apply for large federal funding to elevate their scientific studies by exploring new pathways and treatments. With your help, we are able to reach higher and navigate new, uncharted possibilities. Your support helped four investigative researchers achieve a profound career goal in being recognized with their first Research Project Grant (R01) grant award from the National Cancer Institute.

(Top left, clockwise, Heiko Enderling, PhD, Shari Pilon-Thomas, PhD, Brian Gonzalez, PhD and Daniel Abate Daga, PhD)

Heiko Enderling, PhD

Dr. Enderling is combining clinical, immunology and mathematics expertise to study how personalized radiotherapy affects the tumor immune ecosystem.

Shari Pilon-Thomas, PhD & Dr. Robert Gillies, PhD

Co-investigators Dr. Pilon-Thomas and Dr. Gillies will develop methods that will lead to clinical trials to improve immune therapy in pancreatic cancer patients.

Brian Gonzalez, PhD

Dr. Gonzalez’s study aims to learn how prostrate cancer affects quality of life in African American, Hispanic and non-Hispanic White males and how developing new interventions can reduce disparities.

Daniel Abate Daga, PhD

Dr. Abate Daga is seeking to develop a CAR T-cell based therapy for the treatment of bone metastatic prostate cancer.

Using a Virus to Treat Cancer

Exploring Oncolytic Virus Therapy

When people hear the term cancer vaccine, they often think of prevention. But vaccines can be used for the treatment of cancer. One type of cancer vaccine is referred to as oncolytic virus therapy. A physician injects a genetically modified virus directly into a patient’s tumor. The virus then infects cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. The viral infection causes the cancer cells to break down and die, which releases proteins that trigger the immune system to target any remaining cancer cells. Currently, there is only one oncolytic virus therapy approved by the U.S. FDA, a genetically modified version of the herpes simplex virus that is used to treat advanced melanoma. But Moffitt, in collaboration with the biotechnology company Memgen, is working to develop a new cancer vaccine that could be used to treat several cancers by itself or in combination with other immunotherapies.

Learn More >

Community Engagement Reflects Core Value of Inclusion

Breaking Down Barriers to Access

Advances are being made almost daily in cancer prevention and treatment. But are they reaching all people throughout our community?

Moffitt has created a new leadership role to spearhead community engagement, dialogue, and partnerships. Susan Vadaparampil, PhD, MPH, is Moffitt’s first associate center director of Community Outreach, Engagement & Equity. She is a dynamic leader who has spent over 15 years at Moffitt, researching cancer health disparities and participating in community projects, which will serve as a solid foundation for the work ahead.

We need to bring the community to the table to tell us what the most pressing needs are and to help us understand how to shape solutions that fit our community.

— Dr. Susan Vadaparampil, PhD

Learn more >

Partnering for Pancreatic Cancer

Addressing Disparities, Improving Outcomes

Pancreatic cancer has the lowest five-year survival rate of any leading cancer at only 10%, and the incidence and death rates related to the disease are higher in the African American population compared to other racial and ethnic groups. The reasons for these disparities are unexplained and underexplored. In 2018, Moffitt Cancer Center began a partnership known as the Florida Pancreas Collaborative with UF Health Cancer Center, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and 12 additional Florida hospitals to address cancer disparities and improve outcomes and care for the racially and ethnically diverse group of Floridians affected by pancreatic cancer. The team was awarded a grant from the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program to build the first statewide biobank for pancreatic cancer disparities research.

Learn more >

Putting Faith in the Best Hands

Team Surgery Removes Football-sized Tumor Growing into Patient’s Heart

Jenna Morel was diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma — a rare cancer found in the outer layer of the adrenal gland — in April.

Even harder, Morel was just 34 years old, a mom to a 13-year-old and 2-year-old. She was in denial; she barely had any symptoms and still held onto hope the mass in her kidney could be easily removed. But the cancer was advanced, and the tumor not only was the size of a football, but also was quickly growing into her heart.

Morel went to Moffitt Cancer Center, where a team of physicians would put together an extensive plan to try and save the young mother’s life.

If Morel’s tumor wasn’t removed, she would most likely die within a year. Her only option was an extremely complex and risky surgery, and even if it were successful, there was a very high chance the cancer would return.

“You commit to taking a patient through an operation of this magnitude and there is a one in five likelihood of long-term survival,” said Dr. Ricardo Gonzalez, chief of Surgery at Moffitt. “We can’t predict what will happen with one person. They deserve the chance.”

It’s a chance Morel didn’t hesitate taking. She would do whatever she had to do to live and to spend more time with her children.

After multiple rounds of failed chemotherapy and with Morel’s blessing, Gonzalez moved forward with the surgery planning. Because the procedure would require both cardiac and mesenteric bypass, he would need very specific equipment not normally used during cancer surgery. He would also need the help of a cardiac surgeon and transplant surgeon to assist with bypass and the removal of Morel’s kidney, her inferior vena cava and a large portion of the liver. Because of this, the surgery would need to be performed at Tampa General Hospital and assisted by two of its surgeons.

“We talked over it a lot. It’s crucial to have medical oncology and surgical oncology on the same page if you’re going to do complex multidisciplinary therapy,” said Gonzalez. “Tough decisions arise during therapy and during complex operations, and these decisions are shouldered by the team.”

The surgical team also talked the surgery over extensively with Morel, who had never had surgery before. The complex procedure was difficult for her to understand, but it didn’t shake her faith. “I fell in love with Dr. Gonzalez the moment I met him,” she said. “Even though he told me the worst-case scenario that he could lose me on the table, I knew he wasn’t going to let me die. I wasn’t scared at all because I was in the best hands.”

Learn more about Jenna Morel’s story >
34-year-old Moffitt patient Jenna Morel shares a photo session with her family.

I feel really blessed that I am still here. I do have my days where I shut down, but I tell myself I can’t live every day like that. I was given another chance for a reason, and I try to live every day to the fullest.

Jenna Morel

Helping Patients and Families Through Lifesaving Teamwork

You commit to taking a patient through an operation of this magnitude, and there is only a one in five likelihood of long-term survival. We can’t predict what will happen with one person. They deserve the chance. We talked over it a lot. It’s crucial to have medical oncology and surgical oncology on the same page if you’re going to do complex multidisciplinary therapy. Tough decisions arise during therapy and during complex operations, and these decisions are shouldered by the team.

Ricardo Gonzalez, MD, Chief of Surgery, Moffitt Cancer Center

Blood Counts

A Bone Marrow Transplant from His Brother and the Love of His Wife brought Caleb Morris Back to Life

Caleb and Kristen Morris were looking for a city where Caleb could build his career as a musician while raising their two children, Rowdy and Summer Jo. They settled in Tarpon Springs, FL, where Caleb and his violin quickly found a home on the sponge docks. Locals and tourists alike fell in love with the tall, handsome violinist in the backwards baseball cap.

The family was returning from a month-long trip across Europe when Caleb began feeling ill. Kristen urged Caleb to go to the doctor, and he was diagnosed with a blood cancer called myeloid dysplastic syndrome. It’s a disease most commonly found in older adults, but Caleb was only 31. The diagnosis was a huge blow for the couple, whose kids were just 3 and 6. They tried to push aside the terrifying knowledge that none of their other family members had survived cancer. This led Caleb to Moffitt Cancer Center. After two months of chemotherapy, he was in remission. But because the disease was likely to return, a bone marrow transplant was his only chance for a cure. Caleb didn’t have to look far for a donor. He is the oldest of 13 children, and his younger brother Micha was a perfect match.

Learn more about Caleb Moriss’ story >
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Watch: Caleb's story

I always had a feeling deep down that I was going to be the match. I was extremely honored to do it. To have the opportunity to give him a prosperous life with his family, that is a great privilege.

Micha Morris, Caleb Morris’s bone marrow donor

Sharing a Talent as Appreciation for Moffitt's Lifesaving Work

On September 25, 2020, Moffitt Cancer Center transformed its Magnolia Ball, the cancer center’s signature event, into a virtual Groundbreaking Celebration. That was the first time most donors met Caleb Morris, a professional violinist and cancer survivor, who at age of 31, was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood cancer. Caleb courageously shared the story of his treatment, receiving a bone marrow transplant from his younger brother Micha, and the support he received from his wife Kristen. He serenaded viewers with a performance, which served as his thank you to Moffitt and all those who have donated to cancer research.

Your Stories

All cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, family members and friends have stories to tell. Here are a few examples of how Moffitt and its team are impacting lives.

Interested in sharing your story? We’d love to hear from you!

Share your story here >
Changing Lives Everyday

I came to Moffitt Cancer Center because I live in the Panhandle and there was no facility with the quality of Moffitt nearby. Because of the early diagnosis of my cancer, surgery and treatment, I am now in a very positive recovery mode.

— Mary
The Moffitt Family

From the first phone call to the day we left their care, Moffitt exceeded our expectations. The surgeon reviewed all the test results and mapped out his plan of action to give us our life back. He looked at his calendar, pointed to the date. He looked us in the eyes and explained what he would do. Clear, straightforward and focused. We feel they are the best family to help you on your journey to battle cancer.

— William
Cancer Free for 23 Years

I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 28. Today, I am now 51, have been cancer free for 23 years and am the mother of a beautiful 17 year old daughter! My husband and I are more than grateful for everything that the doctors, nurses and support staff at Moffitt have done for us. Our hope is that with all the excellent work that Moffitt does, my daughter will never have to worry about cancer!

— Chris

Answering the Call

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spring 2020, Moffitt put out the call to our community of supporters for help. The virus was challenging the way in which we treat our patients like never before.

The request for virtual visits with Moffitt experts rose more than 700% at one point, while patients who did come to a Moffitt facility were not able to have loved ones accompany them because of social distancing. In addition, scientists at the cancer center were interested in exploring new prevention and treatment strategies for the virus and its impact on cancer treatment and our patients.

The response was spectacular! The COVID-19 Frontline Response Fund received more than 100 gifts totaling more than $425,000. The funds helped support the purchase of new equipment and support services for virtual visits; the creation of a new, socially distanced waiting area for loved ones; and the creation of three new research trials.

The assistance continues to help our patients feel comfortable and confident as we work to ensure as safe an environment as possible for their care.

COVID Response Fund >
COVID Studies >

Our foundation set up the COVID-19 Frontline Response Fund to support the complex needs of our patients, as well as our team members who are ensuring the health and safety of our patients during this difficult time. While this virus has altered the way of life for many, the demand for world-class cancer care for our patients remains unchanged.

Maria Muller, President of the Moffitt Foundation

A Community of Support

Your support came in all shapes and sizes. You joined us in our new virtual realm, you fundraised and continued to advocate for Moffitt and our very important work. We are able to reach milestones and victories with you by our side. It is through our Community of Support that we are able to further our mission - to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.

By the Numbers 23,526 Donors
In 2020

11,222 were new donors

Nearly half of all 2020 donors

Total funds raised for 2020

Number of gifts: 33,331

Individual & Family Giving
Corporate & Community Giving
Annual Giving
Planned Giving
Foundation Gifts & Grants
Transformative Giving

Coach Shula’s Legacy Lives On at Moffitt

The Shula Fund

The Moffitt family, as well as friends and fans throughout the world, were saddened in May with the passing of Don Shula, the National Football League’s “winningest coach.” Shula joined the Moffitt family in 2008 when he became a member of the cancer center’s national Board of Advisors. In 2014, the family established The Shula Fund at Moffitt to support cutting-edge clinical trials and research projects that generate new treatments and prevention strategies for breast cancer patients. Shula’s legacy will live on at Moffitt through innovative research and the countless number of lives touched by his generosity.

The Shula story is more than just football. Don had a tremendous voice in the war against cancer.

— H. Lee Moffitt, founder of Moffitt Cancer Center

Learn more >

Gala Shifts into a Groundbreaking

Magnolia Ball 2020 Re-envisioned into Virtual Event

A pandemic may have caused the Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation to cancel its annual Magnolia Ball, but it didn’t stop the team from bringing the elegance. The Foundation presented its first Virtual Groundbreaking Celebration in September, drawing online guests from around the country. The event, hosted by Bay News 9 anchor Rick Elmhorst, gave viewers the feeling of the Magnolia Ball, but in a virtual space.

During the online celebration, donors met Caleb Morris, a professional violinist and cancer survivor. Morris not only shared his story, but also serenaded viewers with a dramatic violin performance, which also served as his thank you to Moffitt for saving his life and to those who have donated to cancer research.

Since 1994, the Magnolia Ball, the cancer center’s signature event, has raised millions for Moffitt’s cancer-fighting efforts, and this year’s virtual event was no different. The celebration raised over a million dollars thanks in large part to generous supporters like Wayne and Fonda Huizenga, the Couch Family Foundation, the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation, the Lynch Family and Bristol Myers Squibb.

Save the date for our 2021 Magnolia Ball, Saturday, October 16th.

We are so grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support from our corporate and community partners, which funds lifesaving research.

Maria Muller, President of the Moffitt Foundation

Move for What Matters

Miles for Moffitt Keeps Moving Forward as a Virtual Event

Miles for Moffitt celebrated its 15th anniversary this year in a whole new, virtual way - to show our commitment to courage and hope is stronger than ever. In October, more than 4,100 supporters from 44 states moved for what matters by raising more than $1,000,000 for cancer research.

Though not in person this year, we continued to show our support for those battling cancer by celebrating our survivors and honoring those we have lost while remaining constant in our search for a cure.

AutoNation, the largest automobile retailer in the United States, served once again as presenting sponsor. Not only did the company sponsor for the sixth year, but the AutoNation employee team raised $62,000 to benefit cancer research. We are grateful for their partnership.

We would like to give a special shout-out to Team Tim. To honor Tim Adams, chair of Moffitt’s Institute Board of Directors, Board members Bill Brand and Ed Droste and many friends came together to form Team Tim as a thank you for his tireless efforts as acting CEO. Team Tim rallied and raised nearly $215,000!

Learn more about Miles for Moffitt >

Donate to Miles for Moffitt >
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Dr. Lau Gets a Leg Up

Research Is Fueled by Miles for Moffitt

Miles for Moffitt means a lot of different things celebrating survivorship, joining together to fight cancer, the fun and celebration. But for Moffitt Cancer Center researcher Dr. Eric K. Lau, Miles for Moffitt means all of these and much more. In 2016, he was the recipient of a $100,000 award from the event, which helped jumpstart his investigative research. The early success of his investigations led to a federal grant of $1.25 million. To date, proceeds from the event have funded more than 70 pilot research studies and gained millions in additional federal support.

Because of the funding, we were able to springboard our project about a year and a half ahead and get five years’ worth of funding for a much more expanded project.

— Dr. Eric Lau

Learn more >

Sarasota’s Top Philanthropists Gather to Help Accelerate Cancer Research

Moffitt Annual Luncheon Showcases Sarasota Support

The Sarasota community once again rallied its support for Moffitt Cancer Center with a spectacular annual luncheon at Marie Selby Gardens in January. The event raised more than $200,000, bringing its grand total over the years to $1.5 million.

The Moffitt Cancer Center Luncheon is a fundraising event designed to promote cancer awareness and education in the community that attracts more than 300 community and business leaders. Since 1998, Sarasota residents have come together for one cause – to help accelerate innovative cancer research. The 2020 speaker was Dr. Frederick Locke, who discussed the latest advances in cancer treatment, screening and research surrounding CAR T, a revolutionary cellular immunotherapy.

I just love the work that Moffitt does for the community, and I am grateful to be a part of the family.

— Eileen Curd, Moffitt Foundation Board Member and Sarasota resident

Learn more >

Community Partner Persevered

Community Partner Events Grew in 2020

It was a challenging year, but 46 events raised more than $1.2 million. Four of our superstars are listed here:

Martinis for Moffitt

The Bay Area Advisors generously donated $60,000 from its annual Martini’s for Moffitt event, while the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation donated $50,000 both in support of Moffitt’s Advanced Prostate Cancer Collaboration and Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) program.

Barr and Barr Fishing Tournament

Barr and Barr hosted its first tournament raising over $215,000 to further support Moffit’s mission.

Kan Jam

Tampa Bay Lightning stars Ryan McDonagh and Alex Killorn partnered with the Jam Kancer In the Kan Foundation and brought a whole new game to the fight against cancer when they hosted a Kancer Jam tournament (cornhole tournament with frisbees) in February.

Read More >

Richard’s Father’s Day Family Walk/Jog

Richard Gonzmart and the Columbia Restaurant Group have been ardent supporters of Moffitt Cancer Center for decades, and this year was no exception, even amid the enormous challenges of the pandemic.

Read More >
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Watch: Tampa Bay Lightning Players Visit Moffitt 2019

A Promise Made Is a Promise Kept

Bruce Mackey Devotes Himself in Tribute to his Wife Loyce

When Bruce Mackey lost his beloved bride, Loyce, he felt he had no choice but to see it as a new chapter despite his sorrow and grief. Before she passed, Loyce Mackey asked Bruce to devote himself to Moffitt Cancer Center as a way to express their gratitude for the care she had received as a patient.

Mackey has proven good on his promise - and more! He has logged more than eight years of service, nearly 2,200 hours of volunteering and is a member of Moffitt’s Patient and Family Advisory Program, the Fall Prevention Committee and almost a dozen other staff committees and policy groups at Moffitt. Most recently, Bruce opened yet another new chapter by serving as the first chair of the Moffitt Foundation’s Legacy of Life Society.

This special group of Moffitt supporters has made the decision to leave a gift to the cancer center in their wills, trusts or other estate plans. One of the first ways Mackey honored Loyce’s memory was by establishing a legacy gift to Moffitt in her name.

As a volunteer, Bruce sees firsthand how gifts like his have a huge impact on the patients he meets. Whether the gift is for care or research, he knows this support makes a meaningful difference for families facing their own difficult chapters.

The majority of my estate is going to nonprofits, and Moffitt is getting the biggest share.

— Bruce Mackey, Moffitt volunteer

Making a Difference

Muriel Brathwaite Is on a Mission

Muriel has always made it her priority to help others – locally and globally. She spent her career working for the World Bank - an institution dedicated to fighting poverty, particularly in Africa. After retiring and seeing many friends and loved ones struggle with cancer, she became determined to join the fight. She started donating to the Moffitt Foundation, believing that if anyone could find a cure, it would be the innovative minds at Moffitt. Over time, she has continued to increase her donation amounts, stressing the importance of using her means to support others. Today, her contributions help to save lives every day as a proud supporter of research into cancer health disparities through the George Edgecomb Society. She also is a Legacy of Life donor.

Stories of Support
The Salah Foundation Funds Improve Outcomes

The Salah Foundation Funds a Diagnostic Tool to Tangibly Improve Outcomes

Read More >
Coming Together for a Cause

Hideaway Beach Cancer Community Shows Dedication

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Fueling Research for a Cure

The Samuel C. Cantor Charitable Trust Demonstrates Confidence in Moffitt Researchers

Read More >
Giving the Gift of Love

Richard Kurtz Honors Wife and Dance Partner

Read More >
Increasing Awareness

The Villages Philosophy Club Tirelessly Advocates on Behalf of Moffitt

Read More >
Continued Support from The Ocala Royal Dames

Working to Support Innovative Cancer Research

Read More >

Friends Unite for Just the Right Reason

Friends Unite for Just the Right Reason

Gift Funds Three Fellowships

Gifts come in many shapes and for many reasons, and sometimes gifts come from a group of friends who come together with a great idea.

For Ted and Marty Couch, who have been supporters of Moffitt since before it opened, they reached out to their good friends Arthur, Bonnie, Rachel and Jill Barzilay to talk about supporting the next generation of cancer researchers. Together, they funded three Urologic Oncology fellowships for three very grateful individuals.

I chose Moffitt because of the dedication I saw here to both patient care and cancer research. It is rare to find an institution with such strengths in both. I was also drawn to the thoughtful, dedicated people who work here.

— Fellow Beth Green

Why did you choose Moffitt Cancer Center for your fellowship?

I chose Moffitt because of the dedication I saw here to both patient care and cancer research. It is rare to find an institution with such strengths in both. I was also drawn to the thoughtful, dedicated people who work here.

What are you hoping to accomplish in the next two years of your fellowship?

During my time at Moffitt, I have two main goals: honing my surgical skills and enhancing my foundation in cancer research while further defining my area of expertise. In the first months of my fellowship, it has already become clear to me that the personalized mentorship at Moffitt will help me grow as I define my career path as a physician-researcher.

What led you to a career in cancer research?

The patients I have treated drew me to this field. During medical school and residency, I was constantly impressed by the strength and resiliency of patients with cancer and their families. My goal is to be able to provide quality, empathetic care to cancer patients I treat and also to contribute advancements through my research that will improve the care of all patients with cancer.

What is one thing you would like people to know about Moffitt as a whole? What makes Moffitt different than other hospitals?

Moffitt has a singular focus on cancer that is unique among medical centers. While other hospitals appropriately divide their institutional energy caring for patients of many types, the entire team at Moffitt is united by the specific mission of caring for patients with cancer. This translates to better cancer care in many ways, including well-coordinated multidisciplinary teams, vigilance for the social and emotional needs of patients with cancer and their families, and the coordination of clinical and research enterprises to facilitate ongoing research efforts.

Read the full interview >

Moffitt Merit Society

Moffitt Merit Society

A Note from Co-Founder, Barbara Ryals

The Moffitt Merit Society® carries on the legacy of Merit Ptah, the first known woman in medicine nearly 5,000 years ago.

The skills, achievements and compassionate care of female physicians and scientists at Moffitt reflect a deep commitment to providing hope and improving quality of life for those touched by cancer.

One in three women will experience cancer in her lifetime; even more will serve as a caregiver to a family member or friend with cancer. Merit members stand behind them to ensure that everyone will have access to the most advanced cancer treatments. Combined, our individual passion, expertise and philanthropy make us much more powerful in the fight against cancer.

Learn more about the Merit Society >

It feels incredibly empowering to be able to support female researchers and let them know that there are local Tampa women cheering for them and wishing them great success.

— Barbara Ryals

How long have you participated in Merit Society? How did you originally hear about the society?

I have been a member since the very beginning of Merit Society. Celia Ferman and I initially gave the foundation our idea to form a woman's organization to support female researchers and doctors. It is unbelievably gratifying to know that it continues to be successful to this day.

What’s your why for participating in the society?

I love the connection between women of all ages in the community and the relatively young Moffitt physicians and researchers. As much as it is important for the community to get to know Moffitt, I think it is equally important for Moffitt doctors and physicians to have the opportunity to meet with women in the community and find mentorship and know that they have support right here in our community. There is always so much energy and excitement at every single meeting of the Merit Society. I learn so much from each speaker and feel so energized and optimistic that the cure for all cancer is just around the corner!

Funds from the society support cancer research. Why is that important to you?

I don't know a single person who hasn't been impacted in some way by cancer in their family or among their friends. My father, grandfather and several aunts and uncles had cancer.

It feels incredibly empowering to be able to support female researchers and let them know that there are local Tampa women cheering for them and wishing them great success. I'm not a scientist or a medical doctor so I can't directly help our patients, but I can support the research with my donation to Moffitt Merit Society which will find the cure for our patients.

What is one thing you would like people to know about not only Merit Society, but Moffitt as a whole?

Moffitt has cancer patients who come from all 50 states and from more than 130 countries around the world. Moffitt, with more than 7,000 team members, is much larger than most people realize. Yet, each one of these employees and health care providers are deeply committed to every single patient by providing hope, finding cures, and, most importantly, giving patients their life back.

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Moffitt Pinellas Partners

Moffitt Pinellas Partners

A Note from Co-Chair, Suzy Circle

Moffitt Pinellas Partners was created to build awareness in the community of Pinellas County about the lifesaving research being done at Moffitt Cancer Center.

The group forms an alliance among residents, businesses, researchers, health care professionals, and patients, joining Moffitt’s mission to contribute to the prevention and cure of this terrible disease.

The partners have funded a variety of Moffitt programs including patient lodging; prevention and community outreach initiatives; sarcoma, breast, and thoracic oncology; as well as efforts analyzing the genetics of cancer and fighting it at a cellular level. Together, the group's belief in Moffitt is helping to discover new prevention and treatment opportunities for cancer, redefining tomorrow for generations of people.

Learn more about Pinellas Partners >

Each one of these employees and health care providers are deeply committed to every single patient by providing hope, finding cures, and, most importantly, giving patients their life back.

— Suzy Circle

How long have you participated in Pinellas Partners?

I believe eight years.

How did you originally hear about the society?

I was having a cocktail with fellow Pinellas Partners, Joe Burdette, Ed and Marsha Droste and Mary Harvey.

What’s your why for participating in the society?

We have a great group of people here locally who have all been touched by this disease. I look at us as one big family trying to save lives with the help of donations and supporting Moffitt’s top notch research. As members of Moffitt Pinellas Partners we’ve all had our experiences with the disease, some more personal than others, but we have the same united goal of finding a cure for each and every disease type. One way to reach that goal is to offer financial support to Moffitt so their fantastic team of doctors and scientists can do what they do best: find a cure.

Funds from the society support cancer research. Why is that important to you?

As Co-Chair I’ve listened to quite a few of the doctors speak at our events and explain how our donations help fund their research and the team behind them. I like knowing where our money goes here locally and how it’s being used for research. I look around in all of our events and see so many people who are still with us due to the great treatment they’ve received from Moffitt. My husband was cared for by Moffitt and I was amazed at the newest technology and treatments they had at the center.

What is one thing you would like people to know about not only Pinellas Partners, but Moffitt as a whole?

One of the most remarkable aspects of membership in Pinellas Partners is our collective ability to further the mission of Moffitt Cancer Center. We’re extremely proud of the status and ranking that Moffitt has acquired and the programs initiated that have helped so many. We can say we helped someone out there today live a little longer to enjoy their family and friends.

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Expanding Our Footprint

Reaching More Lives

Moffitt Cancer Center has made it a priority to make room for more patients. The cancer center broke ground on a new $400-million inpatient surgical hospital in June on its McKinley campus.

The 34-year-old hospital on the Magnolia campus has outgrown its space and soon won’t be able to meet the demand to treat more cancer patients. Over the next 10 years, Moffitt anticipates a 65% increase in patient volumes and a 33% increase in cancer surgeries. As Moffitt serves more patients locally and internationally, the need for space is more important than ever.

The new hospital will be a 10-story, 498,000-square-foot facility located on 20 acres across from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Outpatient Center. Starting with 128 inpatient beds, the new surgical pavilion will provide patients with the latest innovations in surgical techniques and inpatient care. This includes real-time muli-modality imaging, allowing surgeons to see treatment as it is delivered directly to the brain, as well as 3D visualization technologies to help surgeons resect brain tumors.

Look for more exciting information to come in 2021 about the new hospital on

Top Rankings Once Again

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we’ve earned our share of accolades over the years, with members of our staff receiving some of the highest physician and cancer awards within the medical field.

U.S. News & World Report has consistently recognized us as one of the best hospitals for the treatment of cancer in the country, as well as one of the best in the state of Florida.

Moffitt Cancer Center is ranked No. 11 for cancer overall

In addition, Moffitt received the following rankings:

  • No. 36 in Gynecology
  • No. 37 in Ear, Nose & Throat
  • High Performing in Nephrology, Urology, Colon Cancer Surgery, and Lung Cancer Surgery

While we appreciate the recognition, we remain focused on the real prize: a cure. Only then can we sit back and reflect on what we’ve accomplished.

Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces in 2020
Computerworld’s 2020 list of 100 Best Places to Work in IT
No. 5 on DiversityInc’s 2020 Top Hospitals & Health Systems List
2020 LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader
Magnet® Designation in Recognition of Nursing Excellence
Exemplar Status for Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders

Lasting Gratitude for Your Commitment

As the challenges of 2020 move to the rearview mirror, we don’t want to miss the opportunity to thank you one more time for your support. Your generosity is fueling the future of cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center, and those acts of kindness will impact cancer patients throughout the world for many years to come.

Together, we can unlock new successes, this year and beyond.

Making an Impact

Your donations help fund powerful cancer-fighting programs. Learn more at

Our Promise

Moffitt continuously strives to follow the highest standards of operational quality, transparency and accountability. That is why we welcome you to learn more about us at

Connect With Us

If you have questions about donating, or would like to learn more about making an impact, please contact our team of gift officers at the Foundation at 1-800-456-3434, ext. 1403 or