Local Cancer Survivor and Entrepreneur Donates $500,000 to Fund UMN Cancer Research Initiative
Media and Public Relations Manager
University of Minnesota Medical School
“Fourteen years ago I was diagnosed with stage 1 testicular cancer,” said Scott Petinga. “Everyone said it was the best kind you can get — since it had a survivor rate of 99 percent. But I wound up with every side effect you could receive.”
Scott Petinga with his wife Alea and three children stand in front of a crowd at the University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center where researchers, physicians and community members listen to his decade and a half journey. In the same building, patients and families await oncology appointments, something Scott remembers all too well.
Now through his humanitarian organization called, “TH!NK DIFFERENT Foundation,” Petinga is donating $500,000 to the University of Minnesota for men’s cancer survivorship research.
“This is important to me because there are so many people like me going through this, but you don’t always hear about them” Petinga tells the crowd gathered outside the Masonic Cancer Clinic, where the event was held.
“This is helping us test a hypothesis which has never been tested before,” said Badrinath Konety, MD, MBA, CEO of University of Minnesota Physicians and Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs at the University of Minnesota Medical School. “This ground-breaking and patient-driven approach will open new dimensions of philanthropy which will drive us as researchers towards new discoveries, information and cures.” Dr. Konety, who is also the Director of the Institute for Prostate and Urologic Cancers, was responsible for connecting Petinga with Oncologist Charles Ryan, MD, Associate Director of the Masonic Cancer Center and Director of the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation at the University of Minnesota Medical School , who will lead the research.
“Several cancers, such as prostate and testicular cancer, present unique challenges that are specific to men. Survivorship research works to address the many challenges as they arise during and after cancer treatment. This gift will be a tremendous accelerator for our efforts to identify and address the physical, mental and emotional health of those being treated for male cancers,” said Dr. Ryan.