Lung cancer research fund recently dedicated

The Cooper Foundation of Cooper University Hospital and Ponzio’s Diner-Bakery-Bar recently dedicated the Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund at Cooper Wall of Hope in memory of the late Ponzio’s owner.

The Wall of Hope at Ponzio’s in Cherry Hill is designed to raise money for the Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund at Cooper. The fund was established in memory of the late Jim Fifis, who was the long-time owner of Ponzio’s before he died in 2007 of lung cancer.

“The Cooper Foundation is pleased to join forces with the Fifis family to combat lung cancer,” said Susan Bass Levin, president and CEO of the Cooper Foundation. “With Cooper opening the new Cooper Cancer Institute next year, we will be able to expand and enhance our cancer services, broaden access to clinical trials and research and have the distinct advantage of being affiliated with the new medical school.”

Prior to his passing, Fifis asked his three sons — Nick, John and Chris — to advocate for a cure for lung cancer and to work to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking.

“My dad never asked for much, so this stuck with us,” said Nick Fifis. “Through the Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund at Cooper we can honor my father’s dying wish and keep his spirit alive.”

Now in its second year, the Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund at Cooper builds support to help ensure that patients have access to the best possible lung cancer care in South Jersey.

“The Cooper Foundation and the Fifis family have been wonderful supporters,” said Frank W. Bowen, M.D., thoracic surgical director of the Lung Cancer Center at Cooper Cancer Institute. “Their support will help our team to translate significant research results into effective new treatment options for cancer patients.”

Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn joined the Fifis family in placing the first placards on the Wall of Hope. The family was also joined by Cherry Hill Council President David Fleisher, Cherry Hill Councilman John Amato, Alexander C. Markowits, president and CEO of Spring Hill Senior Communities, and Shawn Ravitz, vice president of administration for Cherry Hill Supermarkets.

Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer in both men and women, and approximately 1 in 13 men and 1 in 16 women will get lung cancer in their lifetime. While cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, up to 15 percent of lung cancer patients have never smoked. Exposure to high levels of cancer causing chemicals, radon gas, asbestos and radiation can also increase your risk.

The Fifis family and the Cooper Foundation will hold its second annual Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund at Cooper dinner on Tuesday, Oct. 2. Tickets are $125 each and are available by visiting cooperhealth.org/foundation or calling (856) 963–6704. Sponsorships are also available.

In addition, through October, Ponzio’s and Ravitz ShopRite stores will be selling Cooper Cookies, which are back by popular demand. The cookie costs $5 and proceeds benefit the Jim Fifis Lung Cancer Research Fund at Cooper.

The Wall of Hope will remain up through October.