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Final gift creates a legacy of hope

An amazing act of generosity could bring us a step closer to a cure.

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Bill Victor may have lost his battle against chordoma, but a posthumous gift he made may help others win their own battles someday.

Bill was a nationally recognized authority on classic sports and collector cars and an organizer of Cincinnati’s premier annual car show, the Ault Park Concours d’Elegance. He was a devoted husband and father of Max, Alexis, and Jack. Bill was diagnosed with chordoma in 2002 and was treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy over the next 11 years. He quickly became an active member of the Chordoma Foundation (CF) community, attending conferences, counseling others, and contributing philanthropically to our work. He and his wife Helena even hosted a fundraising event that included a tour of a privately owned car museum.

Before he passed away in August 2013 at age 64, Bill made a generous and forward-thinking decision to make a posthumous tissue donation to the Chordoma Foundation Biobank. Upon his death, his tumors were removed and donated to CF to help advance the search for a cure.

Established in 2012, the CF Biobank is a central repository of tumor tissue and blood contributed by chordoma patients, either from tumors removed during a surgery or posthumously. The Biobank preserves these samples and makes them available to qualified researchers interested in studying chordoma. A single sample could be divided and shared among several different labs to support multiple research studies.

“Once Bill learned that the Biobank was up and running, he knew he wanted to donate, whether that opportunity was his next surgery or his inevitable demise from chordoma,” says Helena. “He was aware of the dire need for tissue from chordoma tumors for research, and he felt this was a way he could really help.”

The Victors contacted CF and worked with our team to make arrangements in advance. “The Foundation made it so easy for us and for the pathology lab that harvested Bill’s tumors. [We were] emailed a few forms to fill out and CF handled the rest. All the pre-arrangements made it possible for us to harvest Bill’s tissue immediately after he passed away. Time is of the essence. And because he was deceased, they were able to retrieve both diseased tissue and surrounding healthy tissue, so scientists will be able to do a comparison. It was so easy to arrange, and it will have such a huge impact.”

“All of us at the Foundation who met Bill were impressed with his dedication to supporting our mission to cure chordoma,” said CF Executive Director Josh Sommer. “We are deeply grateful to Bill for leaving such a powerful legacy, and we hope Bill’s vision and generosity will inspire others to consider a legacy donation when planning for the future.”

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