The Mueller and Sells family have faced many obstacles since Katherine Mueller was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer. They have pushed forward to help fund research, and they haven’t let a pandemic stand in their way. NETRF is the beneficiary of this family’s dedication and we celebrate them for exceeding their goal to support research.
The family’s first fundraiser in 2019, Fight NET Cancer with Katherine, was held in Severna Park, Maryland and surpassed all expectations by raising more than $73,000 for NETRF. This amount was then matched through the Spark Hope campaign. Katherine Mueller planned to make her fundraiser an annual event and set her sights on an August 2020 event.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Katherine realized that her hopes to organize a 2nd annual event was not going to be possible. But her drive to raise more funds for NET research continued. She re-enlisted her family team; husband, Matt, and mother Robin and stepfather Larry Sells to put together an alternative fundraising campaign. You might say they went “virtual” like many so others in 2020.
Their goal was to raise an additional $27,000 to add to their 2019 event proceeds of $73,000, for a total of $100,000 to fund a 2020 NETRF Pilot Research Award. With a can-do attitude and loyal community friends, the Mueller and Sells family established the Katherine Mueller NET Research Fund and asked their friends and family to once again donate to support pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer (pNET) research, the type of cancer Katherine was diagnosed with two years ago.
With hundreds of letters sent out to the community, the Severna Park Taphouse created their own fundraiser selling peanuts (or pNETs) to all customers for donations to Katherine’s cause. In less than 8 weeks of fundraising, the family’s goal was surpassed, raising a grand total of more than $128,000 ($201,000 if the Spark Hope match dollars are counted). for NETRF research and a 2020 Pilot Research Award.
“NETRF has funded over $26 million in NET research. During my 2 years of battling NET cancer, I have directly benefited in many ways from the research accomplished by NETRF funded projects. I know how critical it is to support these scientists and studies focused on improving and expanding treatment options for NETs, because my life and the lives of countless others depend on it,” shared Katherine.
A Pilot Research Award is a one-year, $100,000 grant. These projects are usually proof-of-concept, innovative studies. These are often scientific projects that would not be funded by other sources and have the potential to advance our understanding of NETs and improve treatment.
“Katherine and her family are truly remarkable. Their passionate call-to-action motivates us to fund the most promising and innovative NET research around the world. Congratulations to the Mueller and Sells family for being NETRF’s #1 Fundraising Family,” shared Elyse Gellerman, CEO of NETRF.
The Mueller and Sells family have set the bar for NETRF family fundraisers. Their success is an excellent example of the power of a family to harness their community, and with the support of local businesses, families, friends, and work colleagues, they have made a major impact in NET research. NETRF is grateful for their tremendous support.