A Worthington family's cancer-research fund has been endowed by Ohio State University.

The Smullen Family Fund for Breast Cancer Research was started by Greg Smullen. He said he began raising money for cancer research a year after his wife, Cindy, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007.

"We wanted it to be focused on the community where we live and it immediately blew up," Smullen said. "Not only are we raising awareness for breast cancer, but we're also patronizing locations in our hometown."

Initially starting with a bar-crawl fundraiser, called Crawl for the Cure and benefiting the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research, with teams of family and friends in Worthington, the family decided to create its own endowed fund after Cindy's death in 2016.

"Everything in that fund goes towards breast-cancer research, however they see fit," Smullen said.

The fund was endowed as of Aug. 31.

Tanya Florez, associate director of development for the Ohio State University's Comprehensive Cancer Center, said it has been a privilege to have been involved with the family for many years.

Florez said that for a fund to be endowed, the total has to reach $50,000. Each fund is given five years to raise that amount. The Smullen fund was able to reach it in a year and a half.

"There's really no limit to the impact that they can have," she said.

The Smullen children – Jake, 20, Abbey, 18, and Emme, 13 – also have gotten involved with ways to honor their mother. Abbey Smullen, a former lacrosse player for Worthington Kilbourne High School, created a charity lacrosse game with crosstown rival Thomas Worthington to raise money for the fund.

Meanwhile, Jake Smullen was able to raise $3,000 with the help of his date during a competition at Worthington Kilbourne's winter formal during his last year of high school.

To donate to the Smullen Family Fund for Breast Cancer Research, go to giveto.osu.edu and search for the fund or its ID number, 483107.

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