Mark Quinn: Advocate Against Pancreatic Cancer

Written By Debra Gelbart
June, 2018

‘Quinn’-tessential

Mark Quinn is as committed to finding better treatments and a cure for pancreatic cancer as a patient, a family member or a cancer researcher. But he’s not any of these. Instead, he’s a successful businessman in an industry that has shown increasing interest in the past decade in helping pancreatic cancer patients.

Quinn is a co-founder of Spink & Edgar USA, an offshoot extension of Spink & Edgar, a “British Manufacturer of Elite Mattresses”. He is the President and CEO of the company’s USA operations, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The company grows hemp and flax and raises sheep, goats and alpacas on a farm in Yorkshire, England and exports components for extraordinarily comfortable mattresses to the United States

Quinn’s interest in pancreatic cancer began about seven years ago when he was working at Leggett & Platt, a manufacturer of primarily steel-based materials for bedding, furniture and automotive products. He accompanied now-CEO Karl Glassman to pancreatic cancer fundraising events. “I was so impressed with the people in this field and the approach toward funding research,” Quinn said. “I really have a heart for what these advocates are doing.”

Getting Involved With the Foundation and Its Mission

He met Roger Magowitz, a retired mattress industry leader and the founder of the Seena Magowitz Foundation, shortly before Glassman was named chair of the Foundation’s Annual Golf Classic in 2012. “I wanted to help Karl while he was out front helping Roger raise money for pancreatic cancer research,” Quinn said. “And in the process, I discovered that Roger cares deeply about the people who have been affected by this disease. He’s such a genuine guy, and I knew then that I wanted to continue to use my resources to help him and this cause.”

Since that time, Quinn and his wife Bridget, along with Glassman and his wife Cathi, have toured the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, where Daniel Von Hoff, M.D., the world’s leading pancreatic cancer researcher, is Physician-in-Chief, Distinguished Professor and Executive Vice President. “Getting to know Dr. Von Hoff has been amazing,” Quinn said. “I’m grateful that Roger is so successful at raising money to help support Dr. Von Hoff and other physician-researchers as they continue to discover breakthroughs in treatments for pancreatic cancer.”

Quinn served as master of ceremonies for the Seena Magowitz Annual Golf Classic in Boston in 2015. As Honorary Chair for the 2018 tournament, Quinn found himself encouraging people to attend the weekend-long event who have not attended before. “When you hear people like Dr. Von Hoff talk about the work he’s doing,” Quinn said, “it’s hard not to get excited about the advancements in pancreatic cancer research and treatment.”

He wants to continue to raise as much money as possible “to place into the hands of TGen scientists to develop more clinical trials.” Pancreas cancer doesn’t get as much attention as other cancers, he pointed out, “yet it’s the most lethal of all cancers. We’re hoping that by getting more funding to TGen and other research organizations to potentially develop a method for early detection of pancreatic cancer, we can reduce the mortality of this disease.” He also hopes clinical trials will lead to giving pancreatic cancer patients more time. “If we can give patients another week, another month or even another day to live with quality of life until we find a cure, that’s incredibly precious.”

He said he’s certain “there is not a more genuine, deserving group for donations than the people who work in this field of medicine and are devoted to helping pancreatic cancer patients. This is a very nasty disease and these guys put their heart and soul into trying to help people with pancreatic cancer live a little longer and a little better with the time they have. There is no doubt in my mind they will find a cure one day and when they do, the mattress industry can take a big bow because we will have played a substantial role in finding that cure.”

I want to tell you that there is not a more genuine, deserving group for this money than these guys. This is a very nasty disease and these guys put their heart and sole into trying to help the people with pancreatic cancer live a little longer and a little better with the time they do have. There is no doubt in my mind that they will find a cure one day and when they do, the mattress industry can take a big bow because we will have played a substantial role in finding that cure.


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