By Miles & Lisa Beacom

Lisa and I grew up in large families here in South Dakota. Our parents did not have much, but they gave what they could to support others in need and causes they believed in.

It was only natural for us to follow that example, especially as we’ve been blessed over the years with success and a wonderful, supportive community. We see giving back as a responsibility and a privilege, and we hope to model that spirit for our own four children.

Of course, Denny Sanford has also been an incredible inspiration. He could do anything with his money, but he has chosen to invest in this state and its people.

Denny’s historic investment in Sanford Health, in particular, shows the magic that happens when philanthropy meets the forward-thinking vision of someone like Sanford Health’s president and CEO, Kelby Krabbenhoft. Over the last decade, that powerful combination has helped transform Sanford Health from a small regional provider into one of the largest health systems in the nation.

Today, Lisa and I are proud to help write the next chapter in Sanford Health’s history and contribute to a new era of medicine by supporting the Sanford Lorraine Cross Award.

This unique prize stands out to us because it’s not for an academic white paper — it’s for cures that are impacting people today.

It sends a message to researchers and innovators that we believe in them and that their tenacity will pay off.

Lisa and I fondly remember attending our first award ceremony. We were moved by the stories shared by the finalists. Impatient with incremental science, they each forged their own paths, took risks, and worked tirelessly over years and decades to find cures and transform lives.

We’re excited to think what a $1 million prize will mean for trailblazers like these, and for those who follow in their footsteps. We’re confident it will help build momentum, illuminate new pathways of discovery and spark even greater breakthroughs.

Above all, we’re incredibly hopeful that the prize will give patients and families struggling with disease or debilitating health conditions a reason to keep dreaming of a better future.

Through our philanthropy, and that of many others, we’re encouraged to know that the Sanford Lorraine Cross Award will continue to reward and inspire lifesaving innovation far beyond our lifetimes.