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​"The best way to predict your future is to create it" - Abraham Lincoln


Dr. Nora Disis is one of the most remarkable women I have ever met. Our first grant to Dr. Disis’s work was in 2014 allocated to the manufacturing of a preventive breast cancer vaccine that was soon name the WOKVAC, after our community efforts. Dr. Disis now leads the nation’s largest cancer vaccine lab at UW Medicine, including the WOKVAC that is now heading to phase 2 trials, which so many of you helped to fund through Wings of Karen.


Thank you all for your continued support of Wings of Karen; our grassroots approach to funding promising discoveries, while connecting donors to the research to beat breast cancer is leading to potential breakthroughs.  I’m so encouraged by the work Dr. Disis and UW Medicine are doing in the field of immunotherapy that I agreed to directly advocate for the Cancer Vaccine Institute (CVI) and as a trusted member to continue this voice. 

Here is a glimpse of Dr. Disis’ work and how it could change the way we prevent and treat breast cancer moving forward.  Please continue the momentum on cancer vaccine research, to create the world we all want to see, a world without breast cancer. 


Knowledge is power. That’s the motto that Kristi Blair, breast cancer advocate, has taken as her own. Kristi first began looking into the disease when her mother, Karen Denmark, was diagnosed; later, she created the Wings of Karen foundation to support breast cancer research.


“Cancer has hit our family hard,” says Kristi. But Kristi — diagnosed with breast cancer herself at 35 — has found hope in the work of the UW Medicine Cancer Vaccine Institute (CVI). Led by Nora Disis, M.D., the institute is developing vaccines in an effort to avoid cancer recurrence — even prevent it altogether.


Making cancer treatable, even avoidable: that’s what Kristi, a mother of five, wants, too. And she and Disis hope it might happen over the next decade.

“I have an intimate understanding of what it feels like to be in the trenches,” Kristi says. “And it makes me want to do more to eliminate cancer for everyone.”

To learn more about the Cancer Vaccine Institute Research Fund  CLICK HERE!

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