As a long time chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cancer patient, Marty Smith has every reason to be bullish on cancer. A seasoned game changer in the world of internet marketing, Marty has a unique perspective on how technology can alter the landscape of scientific discoveries. In 2010 Marty rode his bike across the country to raise money for cancer research.
Marty recalls: “Martin’s Ride raised funds and awareness, but I came to realize that it was going to take more than races, walks and ribbons to find cures. I began to ponder how I personally could make a bigger contribution and at the same time figure out a way to give cancer docs technology tools to answer the big cancer questions.”
Working with UNC Lineberger staff and estate planning professionals, Marty decided to make a cash gift to establish the Tech Cures Cancer Fund.
Marty’s vision for the Tech Cures Cancer Fund is to give UNC Lineberger scientists the technology they need to accelerate cancer research. He adds, “It’s also important for me to thank my heroic cancer team led by Dr. Hank Van Deventer — they saved my life.”
Smith intends to leverage his social networking and e-commerce expertise to further grow the fund during his lifetime. Marty also made a significant bequest which will be added to the Fund upon his death.
"Whether it’s plotting the future with the cancer genome atlas, harnessing the immune system to fight cancer or genome sequencing for personalized care—all will require state of the art technology to support the brilliant cancer team at UNC Lineberger."
“Since I don’t have children, I want my entire estate to go to the Fund,” Marty says. His friends are amazed at his generosity.
“I say to them it’s easy to take more risks with ‘mortal’ things now, because I’ve been next to not being there.” Marty’s goal is to raise $5 million for the Tech Cures Cancer Fund.
“I used to think that career, money and material things were essential in my life," said Marty.
"Now that I have cancer, life is so precious and magical. Family, friends and helping others are all that matters to me now. Making this gift to UNC Lineberger is one of the best things I’ve done; it gives me great joy.”