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Houston's Own “National Treasure”
A Legacy No Man Wants to Leave to His Sons
Houstons’ own “National Treasure” Funding the Cure He Couldn’t Find
Houston, Texas – June 28, 2009
It was 1999 when Houston native Tony Masraff had to tell his family that he would be leaving a legacy of which he was not proud.
And then he learned something which drove him to do all that he could to change the course of history. He learned that although they might not know it yet, one man in every six men will be leaving the same legacy to their sons!
Tony was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Which means that his sons face a 33% increased risk of receiving the same diagnosis. “This is NOT the legacy I want to share with my sons or have them pass along to my grandsons.” said Masraff.
At the fine young age of 66, Masraff launched a foundation, dedicated to funding research for the cure he could not find. Never having so much as run around the block, he ran the Houston Marathon with his daughter Markley. “He did it! My Dad, completed the race in 5 hours, and raised $120,000, despite the fact that he had to crawl the last 15 feet!” said proud daughter Markley Masraff Berg.
You can understand why Tony has been referred to as a ‘national treasure'. This past spring, the government announced additional cut-backs in research funding. Many labs across the country were forced to close. To date Masraff has raised approximately $2.7.M to fund a dedicated team of researchers at the University of Texas, M D Anderson Cancer Center, pursuing a preventive vaccine and a non-invasive cure for prostate cancer. They have made great strides and are closing-in on the cure, in the form of a vaccine using a protein which they discovered and refer to as GLIPR1.
“Unlike most foundations formed around medical causes, I’m not looking for breakthrough treatments, new surgical techniques or the next best medication to control the effects of this disease. Research dollars going towards treatments (vs cures) support an industry of illness and disease! “ said Masraff. “Think about the revenue generating areas like pharmaceutical production of medications, manufacturing and sales of diagnostic machines, surgical supplies and treatment program research, salaries and capital campaigns for the design and construction of new hospital buildings. It’s a big business and very lucrative for all involved. The truth is that the non-profit medical centers are profit minded. My desire is to put them all out of business by supporting our researchers in discovering a cure!” said Masraff.
Masraff has inspired others to have their own legacy include a CURE for Prostate cancer. Vintners from all over the world are partnering with Masraff and will be offering their finest wines at the Evening of Hope Wine Extravaganza, in October at Masraff’s own fine dining restaurant. Local partners include Houston’s own firefighter calendar boys: MEN ON FIRE, individual volunteers, small businesses and national corporations.
Tony’s Prostate Cancer Research Foundation was established by Tony Masraff and is supported exclusively by a dedicated group of volunteers. Tony can be found at his restaurant Masraff’s on Post Oak, unless he is enjoying the outdoors or his role as Patient Advocate, bringing men and their families hope, support and information.
Contact: Susan Whitacre