The Crowd: Cancer survivors salute Kure It

Mike and Julie Strohl
Mike and Julie Strohl attend the Kure It fundraiser in Anaheim.
(Tony Lattimore)

When you hear the word cancer, what form of the disease first comes to mind? Breast, lung and skin cancers might be among the top three.

Since most of the lesser-known cancers do not receive media attention, the resulting consequence is that they also do not receive adequate funding for research and treatment. Kure It Cancer Research, a Newport Beach nonprofit founded some 10 years ago by the friends and family of the late Barry Hoeven, who died from a lesser-known form of cancer, finds its mission in bringing significant awareness to funding research for the diseases not in the forefront of public awareness.

Bottom line: Most forms of cancer are potentially fatal if not diagnosed and aggressively treated, including the types you might never have heard of; that is until they strike you or someone you love. We know that research takes funding. Government funding is crucial, but again, the majority is allocated to the well-known challengers.

Private support is essential. That has been the primary focus for Kure It, to simply raise as much money as possible to fund research.


Over the holidays, Kure It patrons sponsored a “Let’s Save Lives Gala” at the City National Grove of Anaheim. Some 250 donors witnessed Kure It Board Chairman Todd Perry deliver news of a collaboration with UC Irvine, committing $1 million over five years to the university’s cancer research program. The fund will generate $90,000 for cancer research every year in perpetuity.

A high point of the holiday event included hearing from cancer survivors, who shared personal survival stories, told told the crowd over video interviews.

On hand was Dr. Richard Van Etten, director of UCI’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Among the special guests were Cathryn Guisto, Kenneth Knudsen, Karalayne Maglinte, Tom Monasian and Joshua Schulman.

Another survivor, Valorie Kondos Field, author of “Life Is Short, Don’t Wait To Dance,” and also the recently retired head coach of the UCLA Women’s Gymnastics program, gave the keynote address.


“What cancer did for me was help me live every day to fully be my best,” Field, a breast cancer survivor, said.

Kure It created an annual award, its highest honor, known as the Kaprielian Cup. Named for the late Barb Kaprielian, who lost her 14-year battle with the disease in 2014, the 2019 honor was bestowed upon City National Bank and presented by her husband, Doug Kaprielian. Accepting the recognition was Chris Warmuth, president of City National Bank.

“We are honored to be in this journey with Kure it,” Warmuth said.

In the crowd bidding generously on auction items presented by auctioneer Matt Rogers were donors Sarah Surritt, Lisa Lisherness, Larry Damato, Chuck Greer, Mike Clark, Brandon Johnson, Mike Joyce and Drew Hoeven, son of the late Barry Hoven. By the end of the evening, some $250,000 net was raised. Exiting guests grabbed a late night In-N-Out burger from an awaiting truck.