Meet the Founders

Stacie and Richard J Stephenson, both born and raised in the heart of the Midwest, believe that empowerment is a fundamental human right and that the strength of the human spirit knows no bounds. As philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and healthcare professionals, the Stephensons live by this ethic in everything they do. From their leadership of Gateway for Cancer Research, tireless support of global poverty eradication programs, disaster relief initiatives, and services and advocacy for victims of child abuse, to their commitment to advancing our understanding and treatment of neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, among many other causes, Richard and Stacie are champions of organizations working to empower people with the information, resources, and tools they need to overcome adversity.

Richard and Stacie share both a commitment to fighting cancer and a core belief in patient-centered treatment and care. These are the founding principles of Gateway for Cancer Research, which Richard launched in 1991 to fund clinical trials for all types of cancer. Under his leadership as chairman and with Stacie by his side as a director, Gateway engages patient representatives at every level of the organization to ensure its investments put patients first, prioritizing clinical trials that enhance quality of life so patients can begin healing, today. To date, and to the credit of its talented staff, Gateway has raised close to $85 million and maintains an unprecedented fundraising and administrative expense ratio: 99 cents of every dollar received from public and private contributions goes directly to funding life-changing clinical trials.

With Stacie spearheading Gateway’s largest event – the Cures Gala in Chicago – the organization’s fundraising totals continue to grow annually. The 2018 gala raised $4.1m, an impressive 17% increase over 2017’s gala fundraising total.

Stacie is also the founder and chairwoman of Gateway’s flagship western region event, Vino con Stelle. Due in part to the successful launch of Vino con Stelle, as well as her passionate support of Childhelp, Celebrity Fight Night, and the American Heart Association’s annual Phoenix Heart Ball, in addition to many others, Stacie was named one of 2018’s most influential people by Arizona Foothills Magazine.

Joined by Richard in her dedication to Childhelp, a national non-profit organization devoted to aiding victims of child abuse and neglect, Stacie is chairman of Childhelp’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Gala. The celebration, planned for February 2019, is already on track to set another fundraising record, ensuring Childhelp continues to grow and advocate for society’s most vulnerable children far into the future.

The Stephensons are also deeply committed to helping find cures for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Through their work with Celebrity Fight Night and support for the organization’s series of annual fundraising events, they have helped grow the endowments of the Barrow Neurological Foundation and the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.

In March 2018, Richard and Stacie received Celebrity Fight Night’s National Humanitarian Award in recognition of their generous and unwavering commitment to the organization, and in celebration of  the many other important causes they support. These include organizations such as the David Foster Foundation, the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, Wabash College, and the community of Barrington, Illinois, among many others..

Richard is the founder and chairman of Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), a comprehensive cancer care network of hospitals and outpatient care centers in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa. Prior to founding CTCA®, he enjoyed a career as a successful global merchant banker. Richard graduated in 1962 from Wabash College and, while earning his J.D. degree from Northwestern University, established International Capital Investment Company (ICIC) where he still serves as Chairman.

Stacie is a recognized physician and national lecturer on integrative and functional medicine and was the host of the “Health News with Dr. Stacie” radio program. She is the chair of functional medicine at Cancer Treatment Centers of America  and previously spent several years in private practice, operating clinics in both Indiana and Illinois. In addition to her years of experience in chiropractic care, Dr. Stacie – as she is known by her patients and friends – is also board certified in anti-aging and functional medicine and is a board-certified nutrition specialist.

Stacie and Richard reside in Barrington Lakes, Illinois where they are active citizens of the local community. Together, they have made a lasting impact on the local school system, the city’s historical landmarks, and the institutions charged with preserving them.

While their work and philanthropic endeavors have them on the road frequently, the Stephensons remain true Midwesterners at heart, happiest when they are at home in Illinois. Avid equestrians and outdoor sports enthusiasts, Richard and Stacie enjoy western and English riding and are particularly fond of their Haflingers, a horse breed known for its hardiness and chestnut coat. Together with Richard’s five children and their families, all of whom share the same devotion to philanthropy, the Stephensons find time to relax and reenergize during summer weeks spent with friends and family in Leland, Michigan.

99 cents of every dollar Gateway receives directly funds Phase I and Phase II cancer clinical trials at leading research institutions