Honoring Andrew: McDougall supports cancer research center, launches hometown scholarship in name of son
Andrew McDougall is the proverbial apple that didn’t fall far from the tree.
The “A” in JMA Energy, Andrew followed in his father Jeff’s footsteps and graduated with his degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa, the same school Jeff attended. For the last 15 years, the two McDougalls worked side by side at the family-owned oil and natural gas company that bears both their initials.
But in 2018, Andrew was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma and subsequently developed brain metastases. He ultimately succumbed to the disease in March 2021.
A pair of financial contributions have been made by Jeff McDougall to honor his son by providing other cancer patients with access to quality healthcare and offering students from McDougall’s hometown the same educational opportunities that drove Andrew’s professional career.
Andrew M. McDougall Brain Metastasis Clinic and Research Program
Jeff McDougall committed $5 million on behalf of the entire McDougall family to establish the Andrew M. McDougall Brain Metastasis Clinic and Research Program at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. This generous commitment will be matched through institutional philanthropic efforts, bringing the program funding to its goal of $10 million.
The clinic is named for McDougall’s beloved son, and the Andrew M. McDougall Brain Metastasis Clinic and Research Program seeks to bring together clinical and scientific disciplines to discover, evaluate and deploy novel treatment options for patients with brain metastases.
“Andrew was a wonderful husband, dad and son. When he passed, I debated whether it was time to move forward and try to start the healing process,” said Jeff McDougall, president and owner of JMA Energy Company. “But I was so engaged and had come so far, I did not want to lay down my sword. For Andrew’s sake and for the sake of future brain metastases patients and their families, I didn’t want cancer to win. And I didn’t want other people to go through what we went through with Andrew.”
Approximately 300,000 patients with cancer per year will experience metastases to the central nervous system, including the brain. This represents a significant cause of morbidity and death for patients with advanced solid tumors such as breast cancer or melanoma. Therapeutic approaches previously have been limited to local treatments such as surgery and radiation. Up to 30% of patients with metastatic solid tumors are expected to develop brain metastases, leading those patients to be excluded from almost all clinical trials for novel systemic therapies. This is a concern the McDougalls hope to address through a comprehensive approach to research that crosses all tumor types.
“Andrew had a great sense of humor. He always had a big smile, a raised eyebrow and a witty remark — from behind his awesome beard — that kept everyone around him laughing,” said Loren McDougall, wife of Andrew M. McDougall. “We are determined to continue his legacy and hopefully spare another family the pain of a loss like Andrew’s.”
The Brain Metastasis Clinic was established in 2019 as part of MD Anderson’s efforts to drive research discovery and innovation. The clinic offers each patient the opportunity to be evaluated by multiple specialists — neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and neuro-radiologists — during a single visit. Together, this team of MD Anderson clinicians assesses the multiple and complex factors affecting the patient and collaboratively develops a treatment plan for the patient’s brain metastases.
Andrew McDougall Petroleum Engineering Scholarship
When first notified that he would be inducted into his high school alma mater’s hall of fame, Jeff McDougall considered declining the recognition.
Still dealing with the grief of losing his son, McDougall thought the October hall of fame induction ceremony would be too much to bear.
“But it made me think,” McDougall said. “What can I do to help my hometown, help my university and honor my son.”
So, McDougall used his induction into the Harvester Hall of Fame that recognizes outstanding high school graduates from Pampa, Texas, to announce the creation of the Andrew McDougall Petroleum Engineering Scholarship.
The new scholarship will be given to Pampa High School seniors to pursue a degree in petroleum engineering at the University of Tulsa, covering the entire cost of tuition. Two recipients will be awarded this month and the scholarship will be granted to one Pampa graduate in the years to come.
“It’s an industry I love. It’s my hometown. It’s my university. It’s my son,” McDougall said. “It was an easy decision.”
The scholarship offers Pampa graduates the opportunity McDougall had to scratch out for himself when he left Pampa for Tulsa with little more than a dream of being in the oil and gas industry.
“People should reach back to their hometowns and try to do something,” McDougall said. “Everywhere we spend time, we try to leave it better than we found it, and we try to make an investment in it.”