Member Profile: Michael W. Oglesby Foundation

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Participants in Michael W. Oglesby Foundation’s annual Faj Squad 5k walk/run that has raised over $40,000 for pancreatic cancer research in the last 5 years.

When and why was your organization founded?

Our brother, Mike, was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa. He graduated from Wahlert Catholic High School and the University of Iowa with an engineering degree. In November 2015, at age 52, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died exactly 60 days after diagnosis in January 2016. We decided to channel our grief to find ways to prevent this from happening to other families. The Michael W. Oglesby Foundation (MWOF) was established in April 2016.

Our foundation’s mission is to bring hope and treatment to everyone touched by pancreatic cancer. Our foundations vision is a world where pancreatic cancer is the most curable cancer.


What are your organization’s main areas of focus?

MWOF main areas of focus is to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.  Our goal is to raise funds that support research for early detection, effective treatments, and a cure. We serve pancreatic patients and their families in the Dubuque community and the surrounding areas. We find it important for the funds raised to stay in the area to benefit local patients and families. For this year’s 5K our goal is to raise $15,000 to fund researcher, Dr. Sean Ronnekleiv-Kelly at UW Madison, for his pancreatic cancer research projects.


What is your organization working on that you’d like others to know about?

MWOF will be hosting our annual Faj Squad 5k walk/run~have fun event. “Faj” is what Mike’s daughters affectionately called their dad, Mike. We raise money by inviting participants to sign up for the walk/run and purchasing Faj Squad t-shirts. W­­e honor local families and survivors and provide pancreatic cancer educational activities. Our fun, uplifting event is run by volunteers and pancreatic cancer advocates. Our event has over 350 participants, both in person and virtually, with the momentum continuing each year. Over the last five years:

  • We’ve raised over $40,000 for funding pancreatic cancer research at a leading clinical and academic center, UW Madison.
  • We’ve engaged the city of Dubuque to proclaim a day in November (November is pancreatic cancer awareness month) for pancreatic cancer.
  • We’ve become members of the Middleton Society. The philanthropic society of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health that honors friends who support hope and encourage scientists who translate hope into action.


How can the WPCC support your organization and its goals?

The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition can help support MWOF by providing access to the most up to date data to share with our audience. We also look forward to having access to universal resources that convey the same message across diverse platforms with the unified goal. We want to be recognized not only in our community, but spread out to the Midwest and across the United States. Support from the WPCC can help elevate our current mission and reach a broader audience.


What are you most looking forward to accomplishing with the WPCC over the next year?

MWOF is looking forward to collaborating with the Word Pancreatic Cancer Coalition. We want to strengthen our efforts in raising awareness with the latest data and updated information regarding pancreatic cancer. We are looking forward to changing the conversation about pancreatic cancer and we want to impact lives and be known as change agents to improve the overall survival rates of pancreatic cancer patients.

To learn more about the Michael W. Oglesby Foundation, visit their website.