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Teaming up to Beat Cancer

Raised toward our $25,000 Goal
616 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on January 31, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

Teaming up to Beat Cancer

Although their campaign has concluded, if you would still like to make a donation to support UPCI, you may always do so here.


The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

James Conner Teams up with Pitt to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

When University of Pittsburgh star running back and 2014 ACC Player of the Year, James Conner, was diagnosed with cancer his life was completely changed.  After only two seasons as a Pittsburgh Panther, James had scored 36 touchdowns and rushed for 2,641 yards.  He felt invincible. 

James’ cancer journey started with a knee injury.  During a game, James was sidelined with a torn MCL in his right knee.  James was devastated that this injury would take him out for the season but continued to train to get back on the field.  However, during his rehab, James started experiencing strange symptoms such as fatigue, night sweats, bloating and dizziness. 

After consulting with his doctors, James was sent for testing and on December 3, 2015 a PET scan revealed that James had Stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in his neck and chest. 

Luckily, James was in one of the very best places in the world to treat his cancer – he would receive his chemotherapy and care right here in Pittsburgh at the Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers.

During his treatment, James made getting back to football his number one goal and his family, friends and teammates helped keep him on track. In turn, James was an inspiration to his teammates and all who knew him. He would be at chemo one day and at spring football training the next.

On May 9th, James received his last chemotherapy treatment and a scan a few weeks later revealed that he was cancer free. 

He is healthy going into this football season and is working on producing his best season yet.

James is also dedicated to promoting awareness and raising funds for cancer research. 

            James with his doctor, UPMC CancerCenter Chairman, Dr. Stanley Marks. 

How You Can Join Our Team:

We are looking for partners who are as passionate about the fight against cancer and getting patients like James off the sidelines and back on the field in their own lives. With the decline of government funding of scientific research, funding for our work is becoming increasingly more reliant on people like you.  Please make a gift in support of cancer research today.  Your gift will directly fund research, right here at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.   

The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) is the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in western Pennsylvania. With nearly 400 research and clinical faculty members specializing in disciplines ranging from cancer prevention and early detection to novel therapeutic discovery, survivorship, and end of life care, UPCI maintains a broad strategic vision and comprehensive approach to understanding and defeating cancer.  UPCI is internationally recognized for its leadership in the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.  

At UPCI, researchers collaborate with clinician-scientists to rapidly advance the most promising laboratory studies into novel clinical trials, providing patients with early access to new and innovative treatments.  Clinical trials are a critical step in converting important discoveries into the development of cancer care. The CancerCenter treats more than 25,000 new patients each year and last year accrued over 5,000 clinical trialsJames was able to take advantage of treatments developed through clinical trials right here at UPCI.  Lives depend on this research and research funding depends on people like you.

UPCI investigators are leaders in molecular and medical oncology, spearheading innovative research studies to:

  • Advance our understanding of the biological basis of cancer development and progression
  • Identify new and relevant biomarkers for improved cancer detection and diagnosis
  • Develop novel therapeutics for successful and comprehensive cancer treatment
  • Establish and implement effective measures for cancer prevention

At UPCI, our goal is to improve the outcome for all cancer patients.  One of the best ways to accomplish this is more cancer research.  Simply put, cancer research saves lives.  Without it, many of the advances we have today would not be possible.  We hope that you will join our team by making a gift to support this important life-saving work!


Choose a giving level


Science Student

Every dollar make a difference in cancer research! Thank you!


Research Contributor

You can help cancer research stand out from the crowd! Thank you!


Scientific Backer

Your support at this level helps us towards our goal. Thank You!


Lab Assistant

Your gift helps support lifesaving cancer initiatives in our region. Thank you!


The Student Researcher

Your gift can help a physician continue on the path to discovery by funding their research. Thank you!


The Lead Researcher

Your gift can lead to cures by helping our scientists bring research to fruition in our clinics. Thank you!


The Primary Investigator

Your gift is helping our local research produce national results. Thank you!

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