A longtime Omaha art teacher and businessman donated $3 million through an estate gift to support prostate cancer research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Jerry Pabst died in 2016 due to complications of esophageal cancer. His longtime partner Bill Bures died in 2005 of prostate cancer.
Dr. Ken Cowan is the director for the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center on campus and says he had the opportunity to meet Jerry Pabst. Dr. Cowan says, “Jerry, before he passed away, saw the construction and the plans and the vision of the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center to integrate all of cancer care and cancer research in one building and to really focus on new therapies for each individual cancer patient.” While planning this gift, Pabst told UNMC he believed an investment in people at the cancer center will someday pay high dividends, meaning new cancer treatments and possibly a cure.
Dr. Cowan says the money will support the cancer center by allowing them to recruit three faculty, in both research and clinical care, to advance the development of new treatments for prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer in men. In Nebraska, it’s the third most diagnosed cancer behind breast and lung cancers. While a serious disease, a majority of men in Nebraska are diagnosed early, providing an opportunity for successful treatment options.