The Men for the Cure event was founded in 2000 by philanthropist Sharon Magness Blake and television news personality Ed Greene in memory of Diane O’Connor Thompson, who lost her battle with breast cancer on Thanksgiving Day 1999.
Men For The Cure has historically attracted as many as 700 civic and business leaders to notable Denver locations such as the XJet World Hangar and Invesco/Sports Authority Field—home of the Denver Broncos. Keynote speakers over the years include former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, sportswriter Rick Reilly, and former major league pitchers Goose Gossage and Dave Dravecky. Other civic leaders and athletes that have either spoken at the event or served as honorary chairs of the organizing committee include former Colorado governor Bill Ritter, Brian Griese, Mike Shanahan, and Rod Smith.
In 2011, The Honorable John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado; The Honorable Ed Tauer, Mayor of Aurora; Pete Coors, Chairman of MillerCoors Brewing Company; John Elway, Denver Broncos Vice President for Football Operations; and Bruce Schroffel, President & Chairman of the Board of University of Colorado Health System served as honorary chairs of the organizing committee.
To date, the dinner has raised nearly $1.2 million to advance breast cancer research, care, and early detection education at University of Colorado Hospital. In recognition of Men for the Cure’s outstanding support, in 2007 University of Colorado Hospital renamed the Breast Center the Diane O’Connor Thompson Breast Center. In 2010, the board of directors for the Men for the Cure Foundation formally moved the event under the auspices of the University of Colorado Hospital Foundation.
Proceeds from Men for the Cure have been used to purchase medical equipment such as an Atec Vacuum Assisted biopsy machine, a digital specimen radiography system, and a stereotactic biopsy table; support a nurse navigator who provides hands-on personal care, guidance and support for the many patients and families receiving care at the Cancer Center; fund breast cancer research led by Virgina Borges, MD; and launch a mobile mammography van initiative to improve access to screenings and aid with early detection for women throughout the Denver-metro area.
The Diane O’Connor Thompson Breast Center is part of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, one of the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the Rocky Mountain region, and one of only 40 in the United States.
UCH possesses a team of internationally respected breast cancer physicians, researchers, specialists, and surgeons dedicated to finding a cure.
As a result, our five-year survival rates for all stages of breast cancer are up to 20% higher than state, regional and national averages.
With this knowledge, UCH breast cancer patients can begin to turn their worry and fear into determination, perseverance and hope, regardless of the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis.
Learn more about the breast cancer program at University of Colorado Hospital's Diane O’Connor Thompson Breast Center.