A Community of Support

Virgil Traynor and Teri Munger
Virgil Traynor and Teri Munger. The Placer Breast Cancer Endowment was started by two friends, both of whom had been diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer: Carol Garcia (not pictured) and Teri Munger. Garcia credited Virgil Traynor of the Auburn Community Cancer Endowment Fund for inspiration to drive the breast cancer endowment effort. Traynor’s group fulfilled its mission to fund a basic cancer research chair at UC Davis.

One man, inspired one group, inspired one community, inspired one region to all make a commitment to supporting cancer research.

“You just ask people. Sometimes you don't even have to ask. People come to you and say, 'How can I help?'” said the man who started it all, Virgil Traynor.

Traynor, who is a cancer survivor himself, inspired hundreds from his Auburn community to come together to support the fight against cancer. During the next five years, the community raised more than $1.5 million and became the first to community to establish an endowment at UC Davis.

The Auburn Community Cancer Endowment Fund supports in perpetuity basic science research at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center—one of only 41 centers of its kind in the nation. The funds are advancing the center’s research that uses cell signaling, DNA repair and animal tumor biology to make huge discoveries in personalizing cancer treatment.

Traynor’s success has since motivated breast cancer survivor, Carol Garcia, and a group of South Placer County-area residents to raise enough funds to endowed chair in breast cancer research at the cancer center.

“All it takes is a cause and a committed community,” said Traynor, member of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center Capital and Endowment Initiative Steering Committee. “If Auburn and South Placer can do it, think what Sacramento or the larger communities could do.”