By Josh Farmer, Contributing Writer
AVONDALE, Arizona – Rahal Letterman Lanigan announced that Colorado State University’s One Cure will serve as the primary sponsor of Graham Rahal’s No. 15 Honda in two Verizon IndyCar Series races this season.
The Colorado State University animal research arm will serve as Rahal’s sponsor for the Phoenix Grand Prix in April and the Verizon IndyCar Series penultimate round at Portland International Raceway in September. They will also serve as an associate sponsor for the remainder of the year.
Rahal, who finished sixth in the 2017 standings, noted that than this deal is much more than a sponsorship – it is a creative way to bring awareness to cancer.
“Our goal is to raise awareness for cancer research,” said the six-time IndyCar race winner. “To open people’s eyes a little bit to the connection between dogs and humans, that in many ways all cancer is alike, and that the concept to find a cure for cancer could literally be walking right beside us.”
One Cure conducts cutting-edge cancer research on animals to understand how to treat cancer in humans better. Doctor Sue Lana, a professor of oncology at Colorado State University, explained the connection between the disease in humans and dogs.
“It’s studying cancer across different species, so recognizing that humans and dogs and cats and other animals also get cancer, that many of the cancers that we get are very similar in dogs and in people,” said Dr. Lana.
“For example, osteosarcoma, which is bone cancer, happens in kids, young adults. We see it commonly in our veterinary patients, in dogs. It looks similar under the microscope, behaves very much the same, we treat it very much the same.”
“What we’re trying to do is by looking at and studying the disease we see in dogs, trying new treatments, hopefully translating those into better treatments for humans, as well, and extending the life of both our veterinary patients as well as the human patients affected by this.”
Bobby Rahal, team co-owner, noted that the collective love for animals made this sponsorship seem like a natural fit all parties.
“This is a fabulous effort,” said the 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner. “It came to our attention several months ago. I actually visited Flint. I got to tell you, the people, the facility itself, was very impressive, what they’re doing. Forgetting just the normal care of dogs, there’s also horses cared for there as well, and other animals. But very, very impressive, the tour we took when we were there most of the day. I mean, it’s pretty amazing.
“We’re thrilled to be a part of it, thrilled to try to help them in their quest by raising awareness, by generating funds to the charity. For me, as Graham said, we’ve all been afflicted by cancer in our families, our loved ones, whether it’s dogs or what have you.”
One Curse is the third major sponsorship announcement for the team as United Rentals will continue their partnership, and TOTAL Lubricants joined the squad earlier this year.