Our Partners

Kay Yow Cancer Fund awards $150,000 grant to Carle BroMenn Medical Center

Enhancing quality cancer care for underserved women at Carle Cancer Institute Normal.


RALEIGH, NC (January 20, 2023) – The Kay Yow Cancer Fund, in partnership with Illinois State Athletics and Carle Health Center for Philanthropy, announces a $150,000 grant to be awarded to Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, IL to benefit outreach efforts at Carle Cancer Institute Normal. The grant is a result of Illinois State’s participation in the Kay Yow Cancer Fund’s underserved local grant program and the culmination of a long-lasting relationship between Illinois State Athletics, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, Carle BroMenn and the Carle Cancer Institute Normal.

“Serving the underserved has been in the DNA of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund since day one and we are proud
to continue to support institutions that share our passion for serving others, said Jenny Palmateer, Sr Vice President of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. “Every woman should have access to quality cancer healthcare and because of that shared belief and the leadership of Colleen Kannaday, President of Carle BroMenn Medical Center and Carle Eureka Hospital, women in Bloomington/Normal, IL will! We look forward to following the great work that will be done through this program.”

Illinois State University Senior Deputy Athletics Director/SWA Leanna Bordner and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Kristen Gillespie continue to galvanize community fundraising efforts for their annual Play4Kay game, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund’s largest national initiative. Illinois State Women’s Basketball leads the country in fundraising for DI Non-BCS schools and in 2022, won the overall award for all DI universities. “The values of this grant align with our University, department and Women’s Basketball program values and ideals. We know they wholeheartedly align with all that Coach Yow stood for. We are grateful to all our partners in pursuing and securing this grant, and know it is a village of volunteers, donors, and community leaders who have played significant roles in our success,” said Leanna Bordner.

Illinois State WBB team cheering from the sidelines. Fundraising from their Play4Kay games contributed to the money being given to Carle Cancer Center.Kristen Gillespie played for the late Kay Yow at North Carolina State University, 1996-1999, leading the Wolfpack Women to the program’s only Final Four appearance in 1998. “Coach Yow had a tremendous impact on my life as a player and as a person. Our annual Play4Kay game gives me an opportunity to educate our players on the amazing woman that Coach Yow was and why we are Playing4Kay”.

The grant will be used to fund a patient navigator program for underserved women in the local community. Through the program, patients will be guided through the health care system and provided the help needed to overcome barriers to quality cancer healthcare. The focus of the program will be on improving breast cancer screening for those who are at the greatest risk for early mortality due to breast cancer.

“We are thankful to be the recipients of this grant and appreciate the efforts of Illinois State Athletics and Carle Health Center for Philanthropy to make it possible,” Joe Prosser, Director, Carle Cancer Institute Normal says.

A public celebration of the grant announcement will take place during the women’s basketball game on Friday, January 20th and the men’s basketball game on Saturday, January 21st with an on court check presentation. All are invited to join the celebration.


About the Kay Yow Cancer Fund

The Kay Yow Cancer Fund was officially founded on December 3, 2007, from the vision of the organization’s namesake, Kay Yow, former NC State University head women’s basketball coach. Coach Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 before succumbing to the disease on January 24, 2009. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against ALL cancers affecting women by raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved, and unifying people for a common cause. To date, the Kay Yow Cancer Fund has awarded $8.18 million in the fight against ALL cancers affecting women.

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