Stronger together

K-State quarterback Skylar Thompson creates a unique way for the K-State Family to support cancer research

Throughout the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, K-State quarterback Skylar Thompson is supporting Kansas State University’s Johnson Cancer Research Center (JCRC) through his “Stronger Together” initiative. The initiative serves as a tribute to Skylar’s mother, Teresa Lynn Thompson, who lost her battle to breast cancer when Skylar was six years old.

All proceeds from Skylar’s “Stronger Together” line of apparel will directly support the Thompson Family Fund for Cancer Research, which will enable a student research award named in honor of Teresa.

“The Thompson Family Fund for Cancer Research honors my mom, Teresa Lynn Thompson, and grandfather, John Walter Thompson. I lost them both to cancer within seven months of each other,” said Skylar. “This fund supports K-State’s Johnson Cancer Research Center, to help find the cure for this horrible disease. Cancer affects all of us in some way, and my family wants to be a part of the cure, so others don’t have to go through losing their loved ones like we did. Any size donation is appreciated, and all funds will go to students and faculty at K-State who are researching tirelessly every day to find the cure.” 

The JCRC is making cutting-edge advancements through its basic and translational research. Researchers throughout the university are discovering new information about the initiation, detection, treatment and prevention of cancer from a variety of angles. The JCRC supports the quest for new knowledge and development of diagnostic tools and anti-cancer drugs and other therapies. Among other achievements, some of its members are currently developing early detection tools, novel immunotherapeutics and non-invasive, energy-based surgical technologies.

In addition to supporting faculty research, the JCRC provides opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. Students receive faculty mentoring and monetary awards as they gain professional experience in cancer research laboratories.

An important part of the fight against cancer is philanthropy, such as the Thompson Family Fund for Cancer Research. Marcia Locke, communications, marketing and outreach coordinator for the Johnson Cancer Research Center, says, “Philanthropy enables us to offer competitive awards that spark innovation among our faculty and inspire students to pursue and excel in science. The dollars invested in our center help fund promising, novel cancer research and train some of the nation’s brightest students to become life-saving scientists and medical workers.”

The “Stronger Together” initiative provides the K-State family one way to support cancer research and get involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, all while directly supporting K-State students and research labs. To purchase a Stronger Together shirt, visit To directly support the Thompson Family Fund for Cancer Research, visit its online giving page.

To learn more about the Johnson Cancer Research Center, visit

by Ariana Brancato

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