13 Funding for Rare Cancer Treatment Protocols Through Music & More Mention Paul Poth at Mintz Levin and you run into someone with a story. “He seemed to know everyone,” says Paul’s wife, Kristen Palma Poth. So it’s surprising to learn that before he left the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts to join Mintz Levin, Paul wondered if he’d fit in. He soon established a niche litigating criminal cases and began to share his passion for public service through the firm’s pro bono program. His colleagues found that Paul’s intelligence and special way with clients were matched by a keen sense of humor, which helped him persevere through difficult cases. In 2007, at the age of 38, Paul was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. With funding being funneled into research on well-known cancers, cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer, was poorly understood. Paul couldn’t change his terminal prognosis, but before he died he established a nonprofit to raise funds to research rare cancers. Called TargetCancer, the organization brings researchers from different specialties and organizations together to develop creative solutions. Paul’s conviction, combined with his love of music, led him to create an online fundraising tool, called The Right Track: Tunes to TargetCancer, which allows contributors to download songs donated by popular bands. He understood the power of music to inspire others and uplift their moods, and he wanted it used to make positive changes in the treatment of cancer. TargetCancer’s signature event is an annual concert featuring notable bands.This is now just one of many diverse fundraising initiatives. The organization has raised over $215,000 for research on rare cancers, including cholangiocarcinoma and esophageal cancer, and funds two fellowships for Harvard medical students. It also established the TargetCancer Cholangiocarcinoma Cell Line Bank at Massachusetts General Hospital. “The bank has spurred interest by the National Institutes of Health in bile duct cancer,” TargetCancer Executive Director Jim Palma says. “Small groups like ours can leverage larger resources to make a big difference.” Mintz Levin supports TargetCancer in many ways, including giving the organization pro bono legal advice. “We’ve provided general trademark and copyright advice, and filed an application for a federal trademark,” attorney Geri Haight says. Attorney Sam Davenport has reviewed contracts and licensing agreements between TargetCancer and some of its vendors, while attorney McKenzie Webster helped to negotiate agreements with participants in its annual fundraising concert and gala. The firm sponsors the gala, and Project Analysts Natalie Young and Devon Cain have helped organize everything from the guest list to the auction. Mintz Levin also provides public relations and marketing assistance. “There are few areas of the firm where someone isn’t volunteering time,” attorney Adam Sisitsky says. He sits on the organization’s board and presents three annual Mintz Levin/Paul Poth scholarships for victim advocates, sponsored by the firm, at the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance’s annual conference. “It’s inspiring to be part of a pro bono cause that was started by someone who was so special at the firm,”he says. Heart & Soul It’s overwhelming at times to think of all Mintz Levin has done. It will teach our young son Luca a lot about his dad to see the way the people in the firm support his memory. Kristen Palma Poth President TargetCancer The Power of Partnerships