Kuni Foundation Awards $11.3 million to Washington and Oregon Nonprofits

Funding accelerates inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and revolutionary cancer research.

From a documentary film on Autism to a first-in-the-world clinical trial for children’s leukemia, the Kuni Foundation’s recent round of funding is powering potential through grants, advocacy and program related investments.

A full list of funded organizations can be found here.

Twenty nonprofits serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) received Imagination Grants for programs ranging from accessible housing and advocacy to the arts and inclusive employment.

The Vancouver Housing Authority is developing an 80-unit affordable housing project in Battle Ground, Washington and received $25,000 to support a design charrette to ensure the community and the 12 subsidized units for residents with IDD are thoughtfully designed to create a welcoming community for all.

Oregon arts nonprofit PHAME received $100,000 for an inclusive, accessible elevator for the organization’s new building, while the return of Special Olympics Oregon’s summer games received a $25,000 boost. The upcoming documentary The Divergent Gift: Unboxing Autism, developed and produced by members of Oregon’s neurodivergent and autistic community, received a $25,000 Imagination grant, and the Kuni Foundation is also underwriting the animating talents of North Pole Studio artists contributing to the film.

The Pacific Northwest is a hub for bold new approaches to cancer research, and 10 Discovery grants were awarded to innovative projects focused on detection, treatment, and improved outcomes. Seattle Children’s Hospital received just over $1 million for the development of novel therapies for children with aggressive leukemia, the first CAR T clinical trial of its kind in the world.

Five researchers at Fred Hutch Cancer Center were awarded Discovery grants totaling $5.25 million for projects including understanding tumor regression, reducing the cost of immunotherapy, investigating what drives disparities in breast cancer screening, evaluating methods to detect and treat liver tumors earlier and personalized chemotherapy for cancer on the lining of the abdomen.

Funding of $973,000 from the Kuni Foundation will help Oregon Health & Science University address a critical gap in pediatric oncology by focusing on bone sarcomas and supporting the launch of the Pediatric Bone Sarcoma Repository.

Three researchers at the University of Washington’s Cancer Vaccine Institute received more than $2.9 million and funded projects include STEMVAC vaccine treatments for patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, multi-antigen vaccine for ovarian cancer prevention and an iron oxide nanoparticle-based mRNA nanovaccine for treating triple-negative breast cancer.

Funding Advances Advocacy

Advocacy plays an integral role in improving policies, programs and systems in service to people with IDD. Four organizations serving communities throughout Washington and Oregon received grants for advocacy work: The Arc of Washington State, Community Vision, FACT Oregon and PEACE NW.

Low-Interest Loan Supports Accessible Housing

Next Step Strategies received a $400,000 low-interest (3%) loan to launch the next WeBUILT community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including sensory challenges. Located in Lincoln City, Oregon, The Hyde Park community will provide housing that encourages the highest level of independence in a community setting.

About the Kuni Foundation

The Kuni Foundation advances the power of human potential. Based in Vancouver, Washington, we support scientists revolutionizing cancer research and advance inclusive opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since 2017 the Foundation has awarded more than $60 million to organizations throughout Oregon and Washington in service to its mission.

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