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Our Mission: To provide hope, education, and support to anyone affected by Sarcoma in the Pacific Northwest while investing in research to improve cure rates for Sarcomas.

The Northwest Sarcoma Foundation seeks to ensure that everyone who faces Sarcoma in the Pacific Northwest has a care team behind them. Our resource and outreach programs reflect our values:


  • Compassion — Building a supportive and understanding Sarcoma community while providing comfort through our programs.

  • Advocacy — Promote Sarcoma awareness to support early diagnosis.

  • Responsibility — Funding regional and national Sarcoma research to drive advancements towards a cure.

  • Education — Connecting anyone affected by Sarcoma with accurate and reliable resources.

Through prevention education, survivorship, and treatment research, we are fighting to end the devastating impact Sarcoma has on our lives.

Dragon drawing, Dragonslayer


The Northwest Sarcoma Foundation was founded on April 12, 1996, by Ernest U. Conrad, III, M.D. during his tenure at the University of Washington Medical Center. The foundation was started with a large financial gift from the McClary family after the loss of his beloved wife and mother of their small children. Through the help and support of others, 501(c)3 paperwork was filed, and we received our IRS determination letter in June 1997. 


In 2000, the first fundraising event was held: the Hike, Bike, and Trike. In 2006, the foundation gets a new Executive Director. With guidance from the founder and board of directors, the Executive Director helped develop the foundation into what it is today. Under her tutelage, Help$ grants were developed, the Hike, Bike, and Trike events evolved into the Dragonslayer Walks, the Stories from the Vineyard, now the Hope Grows Here special events, were born, and we made our first investment into research.


As the 2008 crisis was gripping the US, the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation launched their Help$ Foundation grants for adults. In its inception year, the program provided 30 grants to patients across the PNW totaling $7,500 in Help$ grant support. By 2009, the number of grant requests doubled and the foundation quadrupled the amount given, which was a total of $31,500. Also, in 2009 the Westerholm family began a legacy in memory of their daughter, Jenna, who lost her battle to embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. The Jenna Foundation Help$ grants were created in her memory; these grants provide for pediatric patients. Between these two grant programs, we now serve over 100 patients yearly, exceeding over $55,000.


In 2011, we made our first investment in Sarcoma research. Sarcoma treatment advancements have been made with the research grant support from the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation. Somewhere along the way, the Sarcoma Journal Club program advanced past the living room of Dr. Conrad to a larger opportunity to bring our PNW researchers and physicians together to network and discuss some of the latest research in Sarcoma.


As 2020 shut down the world, we took to heart the needs of the Sarcoma community who became quarantined in their homes along with everyone else. Through the brainstorming help and financial support of a donor who lost her husband to Sarcoma, the Care Package program was developed and launched in 2021. We started the virtual Researcher Update Nights, allowing Sarcoma researchers to share their knowledge and experience with our supporters, who then are able to ask questions about how research is developing. We were also able to launch the virtual Casual Chat program to support patients and survivors, caregivers, and those who have had someone pass away from Sarcoma. We are looking forward to our next historical advancements for the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation. We encourage you to be a part of our history.


The foundation serves anyone affected by Sarcoma in the Pacific Northwest, which includes the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. However, we have virtual programs which have a broader reach across the globe. The foundation was established to be a place of support and education for those who are living with Sarcoma or other rare bone tumor disease. In addition, the site is intended to offer support to friends, family, and caregivers. Because the information on this site is provided for educational purposes only, nothing found here is intended to replace medical advice. A physician should always be consulted about medical and health-related issues.


Any reference to other resources made by the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation is not an endorsement of any individual, agency, or organization. Northwest Sarcoma Foundation may not necessarily agree with all information provided on other websites but has found some value may exist for patients and family members.

Nondiscrimination Statement

Northwest Sarcoma Foundation does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, volunteers, contractors, vendors, and those we serve.


Transparency Statement

We strive to earn your trust.  We are committed to the values and expectations of a community foundation, which include honesty, consistency, and accountability.  To promote these values, we work with partners such as GuideStar to provide current financials and audit reports so that prospective supporters have the information they need to make an informed decision.

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