The 43rd annual Killebrew-Thompson Memorial, a Sun Valley-based cancer research benefit, begins its four-day event today. It is scheduled to include an in-depth presentation open to the public demonstrating how local funds raised have gone to support clinical studies and major gains in cancer research.

The memorial brings funding to St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, in Idaho, and to the Masonic Cancer Center, in Minneapolis, the city where Danny Thompson and future Hall-of-Famer Harmon Killebrew played together for the Minnesota Twins baseball team.

Thompson died in 1976 at age 29 following complications of myeloid leukemia, 10 weeks after his final game. Following his death, Killebrew, an Idaho native, created the Danny Thompson Memorial golf tournament to fund cancer research. Following his own death in 2010 due to esophageal cancer, Killebrew’s name was added.

Today, the memorial is considered one of the leading cancer research fundraisers of its kind. The annual Killebrew-Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament is scheduled to begin today, Aug. 14, with a golf practice round followed by three additional days of charity golf events and an auction gala, and concluding with a concert Saturday night featuring Steve Augeri, a former lead singer of Journey.

On Thursday, members of the public can attend a free event titled “Cancer in Focus,” at which trends in cancer research and treatment from notable doctors in the field will be presented. The event will feature a cancer survivor, Paislee Magee, who was diagnosed at age 3 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer. This month, Paislee will celebrate her 7th birthday and one year in remission from cancer due to the treatment she received at St. Luke’s, where more than 200 new cancer patients each year are treated with the “latest, most effective methods, all developed due to years of cancer research,” the Killebrew-Thompson stated.

The forum will include Dr. Brenda Weigel, director of pediatric hematology and oncology at the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and Dr. Dan Zuckerman, director of St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute in Boise. The presentation will take place at 4 p.m. in the Sun Valley Inn’s Continental Room.

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