Ovarian cancer car tag brings research money to UAB

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - On July 20, 2006, 24-year old Brittany Waldrep died from ovarian cancer, less than 2-years after being diagnosed with the disease.  Her family wanted to honor her memory and felt creating a car tag was the best way to do that.  They saw it as a renewable source of funding for cancer research.   "Every year, if a person buys a tag and continues to renew it year after year, the funding will grow and hopefully we can donate 100-200-thousand dollars annually."

The family showed proof of what the tag could mean when they presented a 48-thouasnd dollar check to UAB's Gynecologic Oncology Department Friday.  The money was raised from sales of the car tag, which was first produced in June.

Megan Waldrep says it was a bitter sweet moment, considering today would have been Brittany's 28th birthday.  "It feels good because this is exactly what Brittany would want us to be doing to help others and try to find a test for ovarian cancer."

More than 24-thousand are diagnosed with the disease every year in the U.S.  About 15-hundred of those cases are in Alabama.  There is no real screening test for the cancer.  So part of the money will go towards that and research.

"We are going to use the money to collect tissue samples from ovarian cancer patients," said Dr. Ronald Alvarez, a UAB oncologist.  "So we can understand and investigate the biology of ovarian cancer.  That way we can develop new ways to treat it."  The department will also combine the money with federal grants that's being used to conduct clinical trial on gene therapy.