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Vada Murray Fund for Cancer Research

Vada Murray Fund for Cancer Research

Former U-M football star and Ann Arbor police officer Vada Murray to be honored at cancer benefit
Vada Murray and family

A champion football player under Bo Schembechler, Vada Murray learned the value of teamwork early in his college career. After leading his fellow players to a Rose Bowl victory, Murray went on to become a police officer with the city of Ann Arbor, where he worked hand in hand with his colleagues to protect his beloved city.

Late in 2008, Vada was unexpectedly diagnosed with advanced lung cancer at the age of 41. Neither Vada nor his parents ever smoked. He endured months of chemotherapy and physical and emotional pain but remained determined to win the battle against this unexpected and unfair opponent. Vada passed away on April 6th, 2011 at the age of 43.

The Vada Murray Fund for Cancer Research Fund (VMFCR) - was established by Vada Murray's widow, Sarah Murray, family and friends - is currently raising donations to benefit cancer research at the University of Michigan Health System - which honors Vada Murray, an Ann Arbor police officer who played football under Bo Schembechler during 1986-1990, who passed away from lung cancer in April 2011.

The VMFCR first public fund-raising event was held in September and resulted in gifts totaling $61,500 from registrations, donations and a silent auction. The VMFCR also held is first annual tailgate event before the UM vs. OSU football game in November.

The purpose of the VMFCR is to fund cancer research aimed at learning more about early detection, causes of all types of cancer (with a focus on environmental issues) and cancer treatments. Its focus is on lung cancer in honor of Vada Murray, but recognizes that basic science research in cancer will lead to far-reaching discoveries. One hundred percent of the money given to the VMFCR will go directly to researchers at the University of Michigan who are studying cancer detection, causes and treatments to enhance the quality of life of those living with cancer and ultimately, seeking cures for various cancers.

For more information about the VMFCR and how you can help, please visit or email