Kathleen & Van Andel Research Institute – Celebrating a Legacy of Research

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Kathleen & Van Andel Research Institute – Celebrating a Legacy of Research

October 13, 2018 @ 10:00 am

Join Van Andel Institute and Kathleen Drennan’s family, as we honor her legacy of medical research. The event includes a charity bike ride along the The Lakefront Trail and a dinner to celebrate Kathleen’s life and legacy.








Kathleen's Legacy

Bike Rental Details

Hotel Room Block



10:00 a.m. Charity Fun Ride on the The Lakefront Trail
Meet at the Oak Street Beach underpass at 10 a.m. for the start of the Fun Ride
Oak Street Beach to Bryn Mawr Turn
*Bike rentals available
$40 per person
Riders are encouraged to secure donations and sponsorships to support Kathleen’s legacy of research.

11:30 a.m. Riders Meet at Hopsmith Tavern
Immediately following the Fun Ride, riders are encouraged to reconvene at Hopsmith Tavern located at 15 W. Division Street.
We will have a reserved area and appetizers available to celebrate a successful fun ride.

7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Dinner to celebrate Kathleen’s Legacy
Hosted by Patrick and Kristine Brady at their home in the Gold Coast.

64 East Elm Street #1
Chicago, Illinois 60611

$150 per person or $300 per couple

My mother was born in the small Western Michigan town of Grand Haven on February 12, 1947. After attending Michigan State University, Kathleen moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan where she started her life-long career in medical research working for The Upjohn Company. Over the next 40 years she raised a rebellious son while accomplishing more than I am able share in this narrative, but I’ll try to provide some highlights.

Kathleen Drennan

After leaving Kalamazoo for Chicago in the mid-1980’s where she knew absolutely no one, Kathleen met Dr. Michael Davidson and together they established the Chicago Center for Clinical Research. My mom’s vision, expertise and forward-thinking in clinical trial strategy has been long recognized in the industry and is documented in numerous presentations and publications. Her passion became clinical research for those that had traditionally been left behind; women, children and minorities. She was a pioneer in women’s health research and pediatric clinical trials. In the 10 years proceeding her death, my mother oversaw numerous high-profile national studies for women involving heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity and estrogen replacement, including the HERS and Pepi trials. She was also one of the founding members of the Society for Women’s Health Research in Washington, D.C., where she was on the board of directors. My mother was the Editor-in-Chief for Elsevier’s prestigious journal Contemporary Clinical Trials. She was inducted into the University of Illinois Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 1995.

My mother had a myriad of professional accomplishments, but what I know she is most proud of is the opportunity she had to work with and mentor the many people who she crossed paths with throughout her career. She had a special place for women in healthcare and she touched the lives of many who continue to carry on her work today.

My mother did all of this while battling a multitude of health-related challenges of her own. She had cancer 5 times … yes, 5 times: Hodgkin’s disease — not once, but two times; gastric cancer, where 2/3 of her stomach was resected; renal cancer, where one of her kidneys was removed; and finally, inoperable renal cancer. She beat this disease time and time again due to great doctors and aggressive approaches to treatment. Her endurance was remarkable, and she is in heaven today knowing that she never lost her battle with cancer. Unfortunately, due to radiation treatments from her previous cancer, she developed heart disease. She experienced her first heart attack in Chicago in her 50s, another one in Colorado and finally, her last one on Sunday, September 29, 2013. What most people don’t know is that she biked 13 miles on the lakeshore the day before her heart attack. She looked great and she was feeling even better until the very end of her life.

I would like each of you to join me and my family in honoring my mother’s legacy of medical research by supporting Van Andel Research Institute. We will celebrate her on the Chicago Lakeshore while we bike the 13 mile loop that she was so fond of. My passion is her passion — together we can continue Kathleen’s work of eradicating the devastating diseases that affect us all.

-Patrick Brady

If you need to rent a bike, you can do that directly at https://www.bobbysbikehike.com. Online rentals will receive a 10% discount.

Bobby’s Bike Hike
540 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60611

Rental Bikes will be ready for pickup at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 13th

If you are traveling to Chicago and need a hotel room for the weekend we have a block of hotel rooms reserved at EMC2 at the rate of $299 +tax a night

Hotel EMC2
228 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611

If you would like a room in our room block at the discounted rate, please contact Patrick Brady to book your room as soon as possible at pbrady1021@aol.com.

Interested in where the money donated in Kathleen’s honor will be used? See how every dollar raised will have an impact at VAI.


Contact Sarah Rollman at 616.234.5712 or via email for more information.

Diamond Sponsors

Bronze Sponsor


October 13, 2018
10:00 am
Event Category:


Oak Street Beach
1000 N Lake Shore Dr
Chicago, IL 60611 United States
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