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Impact Story: Jamey and Ryan Maniscalco

Members of The Founders Society-NULC (President’s Circle) and the Associate Board of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University

At the 2018 Lurie Cancer Center’s Cancer Survivors’ Celebration Walk & 5K, (from left to right) Jamey, Chuck, and Ryan Maniscalco celebrated crossing the finish line together.
This story was published in The Founders Society Impact Stories, a publication that highlights leadership donors to various areas of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Read the whole issue here.
November 2, 2023

An avid runner and nonsmoker, Chuck Maniscalco was blindsided by his advanced lung cancer diagnosis, but he refused to let it define him. In fact, it emboldened the Chicago resident to fight the disease not just for himself but also for others combating cancer. A former CEO at Quaker Oats and then Seventh Generation, Chuck spent much of his career in market research and understood the importance of garnering support for cutting-edge research and development that can lead to cures and improved cancer care. During his final years, Chuck leveraged his communication and motivation skills to support the work of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University as a speaker and advocate, even joining Lurie Cancer Center’s team in Washington, D.C., to promote increased federal funding for cancer research. His overarching goal through this work was to encourage physicians, nurses, and staff to consider a simple question that has an invariably complicated answer: How can I help those with cancer not just survive, but thrive?

In 2019, when Chuck passed away at age 65, his sons, Jamey and Ryan, picked up their beloved father’s torch and continue to support Lurie Cancer Center in ways they know would make their father proud. In 2021, the brothers helped establish a first-ever Associate Board of Lurie Cancer Center comprised of young professionals who share a common interest in the fight against cancer. This group of next-gen philanthropists raises funds to support cutting-edge cancer research by awarding an annual Associate Board Innovative Research Award to a Lurie Cancer Center faculty member requesting seed funding for high-risk, high-reward cancer studies ranging from cells in petri dishes to clinical care.

A bridge to the future, the Associate Board of Lurie Cancer Center brings together the next generation of philanthropists who share a common interest in the fight against cancer by raising funds for high-impact research.

“By funding research that might be considered too risky by others, the Associate Board has a clear impact on the future of research at Lurie Cancer Center, and we do not take that responsibility lightly,” said inaugural co-chair Jamey, an assistant professor of Neuroscience at Regis University in Denver. “We ask our board members to intellectually engage in the grant award process by coming together once a quarter to review applications and meet researchers. In this way, we make informed decisions regarding the research proposals with the most promise to revolutionize cancer care at Lurie Cancer Center and beyond.” With a PhD in Neuroscience, Jamey uses his expertise to help elucidate technical scientific content for his fellow board members who come from diverse backgrounds.

In 2022, the Associate Board selected Marcelo Bonini, PhD, professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, as its first Innovative Research Award Scholar. Dr. Bonini’s team received $115,000 to advance research investigating how metabolic changes due to natural aging may lead to tumor development. Said Dr. Bonini, “The Associate Board is helping make our dream come true to transform our research into something that helps people with cancer.”

Ryan, a cybersecurity analyst in Chicago, also sits on the board. “It has been incredibly cool to see the actual output of my participation on the board and know exactly where my giving is going,” he said. “I am even more grateful for the progress in cancer care therapies that allowed my father to live a normal life as long as possible. These treatments gave us more time with Dad as himself, and we hope that the work we are funding through the Associate Board will do this for others.”

Jamey and Ryan are also passionate supporters of the Northwestern Simulation Program in Healthcare Communication at Northwestern Medicine to ensure the delivery of holistic patient care in honor of the care their father received. Said Jamey, “Lurie Cancer Center treated our father not just for his cancer but as a person. That really hit home for us. Our support reflects both our gratitude for the care our family received as well as our desire to help others with cancer not just survive, but thrive.”

For more information on Lurie Cancer Center and the Associate Board, please contact Nicole Langert at Please enjoy this short video for a special thank you to our donors and the Lurie Cancer Center Associate Board.