What is the PHASE ONE Foundation

What is the PHASE ONE Foundation

by Stacy on Aug 17, 2022

Before Stacy Valner founded Meadow, she co-founded the PHASE ONE Foundation with her husband Alberto. A Los Angeles-based nonprofit dedicated to supporting clinical cancer research, PHASE ONE is the inspiration behind Meadow’s commitment to giving back to caretakers, as well as its decision to donate a portion of profits to the foundation. So, what is the story behind PHASE ONE?

In 1998, Alberto and his mother were diagnosed with two different types of cancer within days of each other. Alberto, at the time, was only 36 years old and was diagnosed with Stage 4 Testicular Cancer — a cancer that most commonly affects men between the ages of 18 and 35. Just a few days after having completed 4 grueling rounds of treatment and surgeries, Alberto grieved the loss of his mother who passed away from her own diagnosis. At the time, very little was known about Alberto’s mother’s cancer and this experience galvanized Alberto and Stacy, inspiring them to launch PHASE ONE.

Stacy and Alberto co-founded PHASE ONE in 2000 with the intention of supporting early cancer research to find treatments that could transform terminal illnesses into hope for a full and productive life. Nearly 40% of people will hear the phrase, “you have cancer” in their lifetime, and new cancer cases are expected to rise 27% in the next 10 years. PHASE ONE’s focus is to fund the early steps in the cancer research process — the Phase I clinical trial.

In the past, a Phase I trial was often given to patients after they had already unsuccessfully tried other methods of treatment. However, it is now common for patients to choose to forgo standard treatments when a diagnosis is particularly grim and opt to begin a Phase I trial immediately. Usually, these trials struggle to find funding due to the lack of proven results. So, PHASE ONE looks for doctors and researchers who are passionate about their work and look for innovative ways to push the boundaries of cancer research. Founding PHASE ONE became the Valner’s way to give hope to patients newly diagnosed with cancer and searching for a cure, and through its grants, the foundation has funded research for all types of cancers, including rare forms that are less likely to get funding from Big Pharma.

Today, the PHASE ONE Foundation has funded over 40 clinical trials and raised more than $25 million. Over the past two decades, the foundation has provided 46 grants for research in 25 different types of cancer, many of which have gone on to receive additional funding from larger institutions.

Stacy and Alberto have remained involved as active board members and have maintained a strong board of directors in recent years, which continues to infuse the organization with new life and new donors. Aside from raising their four children, this is one of their most proud achievements in the philanthropic world, and Stacy continues to draw inspiration from the amazing work the foundation does by prioritizing caretakers and giving back in Meadow’s brand pillars and values.
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