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Circus donates to Huntsville Hospital

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey donated $10,000 to the Pediatric Oncology Unit at Huntsville Hospital. CONTRIBUTED
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey donated $10,000 to the Pediatric Oncology Unit at Huntsville Hospital. CONTRIBUTED

HUNTSVILLE – The unlikely association of circus elephants and young patients with cancer has benefited the work of Huntsville Hospital.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey donated $10,000 to the Pediatric Oncology Unit at Huntsville Hospital for Women and Children to support local pediatric patients. Ringling Bros. performers also brought laughter to children and families when they visited the oncology unit on Dec. 30, 2015.

“At Ringling Bros., we focus on entertaining families and giving back to the communities where we perform every week,” Alana Feld said. Feld is Executive Vice President of Feld Entertainment and producer for the circus.

Ringling Bros. dedicated a performance at the Von Braun Center to Huntsville’s oncology unit. That evening raised awareness to national cancer research by Dr. Joshua Schiffman, who has connected DNA from Ringling Bros. elephants to DNA from patients with cancer.

Elephants have a low incidence of cancer, and scientists are examining why elephants are cancer resistant but humans lack this capability.

Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation has the largest herd of Asian elephants in the Western Hemisphere. The Feld family felt compelled to support this research.

Elephant DNA is instrumental to this research, and Dr. Schiffman needed a diverse gene pool to effectively study the species.

In 50 cities, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will donate $10,000 to local children’s hospitals. This program, which helped support the elephant research, focuses on novel approaches to prevention, diagnosis and improving the value of pediatric cancer care.

“Twenty years ago, we founded the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation. Little did we know then that they may hold the key to cancer treatment,” Feld Entertainment CEO Kenneth Feld said.

For details about elephant conservation, visit ringling.com or ringlingelephantcenter.com.

Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 75 countries and on six continents and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Monster Jam and several others. For more information, visit feldentertainment.com.

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