Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog




A CRI Board Member’s Father was Diagnosed with Cancer – He Quickly Raised Over $150,000 for Research 

It started with an idea. Yacov Arnopolin wanted to raise money for a cause that was close to his heart. He’d just learned that his father was battling pancreatic cancer. “There’s a personal side to this. I felt this is the time to do something,” the emerging markets senior portfolio manager said.  

Arnopolin decided to organize an extreme fitness challenge to tackle the challenge of facing cancer. The event itself would be intense and the training was just as grueling – a one-mile run, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, and another one-mile run – all with a weighted vest on, in under an hour.  

Arnopolin is a veteran member of the Cancer Research Institute’s Board of Trustees, celebrating his eighth year of service this spring, and so the beneficiary of his efforts was a natural fit. “As much as I enjoy arts and culture, I felt medicine and health and people’s wellbeing were far more important,” he told CRI. “It truly is futuristic, in terms of what the CRI is working on, really groundbreaking science. It’s really improving outcomes. It’s also improving the process of cancer care.”  

However, he knew the road to raising big dollars for CRI wouldn’t be easy.  

He reached out to friends and colleagues with the details of the challenge and what would go into it. He touted CRI’s commitment to putting 88 cents of every dollar donated back into research. “As someone that works in finance, I’m a little bit of a nerd. The efficiency with which CRI approaches everything is far higher than many other nonprofits,” he said.  

He also shared with them his painful reality.  

“That allowed me to tell a very personal story that is topical. I tried to speak to all my friends and to all my colleagues and say, ‘this is the moment, this is the organization and I’m going to put my body on the line here.’”  

Arnopolin felt like his father was with him for every move he made.  

“What drove me is that I’m doing this in honor of what my father is going through. So, I think all that combines psychologically and mentally to give you that final push and get you through it.”  

Yacov’s fundraiser for CRI was successful due to several factors, not the least of which is his membership on CRI’s Board of Trustees. He challenged his fellow board members and asked them to match the first $50,000 he raised.  

The additional funds raised came from people he knows all over the world.  

His approach isn’t patented or exclusive and he says anyone can do it. It’s all about making connections with people.  

“It goes beyond cutting a check. Getting involved really matters and it’s very fulfilling. You really get surprised when you open up about your story, and you say what you’re doing. You create very important bonds. You connect with people and hopefully also connect them to treatments and just broaden their horizons about what’s out there.”  

What’s out there is a future where the world is immune to cancer, thanks to the efforts of peer-to-peer fundraisers like Yacov Arnopolin. 

Want to do something BIG for Cancer Research and raise money for CRI?  

Visit: create-a-fundraiser 

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