Fox Family Announces Historic $25 Million Gift to TTUHSC El Paso

Fox family

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, along with Steve Fox and his wife, Nancy, announced a historic $25 million investment that will support a future comprehensive cancer center to be constructed on the university's campus.

Steve Fox is president and chief executive officer of Fox Auto Team, a group of car dealerships based in El Paso. The family's gift will support clinical trials, research and recruitment of world-class physicians, nurses and researchers to the center. Steve Fox is a cancer warrior who battled stage 4 tongue and neck cancer over 22 years ago.

To honor the Fox family's gift, the center will be named the Steve and Nancy Fox Cancer Center.

"When you have the diagnosis of cancer, what you want is the best possible outcome, which is to be cured," Steve Fox said. "You know in your mind, in your heart, that oftentimes the best treatment option is not in El Paso. You end up having to travel, which compounds the stress of fighting cancer. What you want to know is that you're receiving world-class care. We're working on that with the new cancer center in El Paso, and I'm optimistic that we'll deliver, for the vast majority of cancer patients, world-class care."

Steve Fox has relentlessly advocated for comprehensive cancer care in our community for 20 years. The dream of a cancer center for El Paso became a reality earlier this year when the Texas legislature approved a $65 million appropriation in the state budget for planning and building the center.

The Fox Cancer Center will consolidate services such as cancer imaging, treatment, research and clinical trials, and outreach programs under one umbrella.

"We stand at the threshold of a momentous chapter in our university's and our community's history as we embark on a transformative journey to create a cutting-edge cancer center," said TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange, M.D., M.B.A. "I'm deeply grateful to Steve and Nancy Fox for transforming dreams into reality by helping to bring this cancer center to life. Together, we'll bring forth a brighter, healthier future for our community and beyond."

Cancer and the Hispanic Population

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Hispanic population, and addressing health care disparities in this area is critical, particularly when it comes to research. In El Paso, which has an 83% Hispanic population, there is an annual average of 395 cancer cases per 100,000 Hispanics, according to the National Cancer Institute. That's trending above Texas' average of 346 cases per 100,000.

In the U.S., Hispanics are the largest and fastest-growing minority group, and due to their sheer numbers, this group is expected to face a 142% rise in cancer cases in coming years, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. 

It's estimated that Hispanics make up less than 4% of participants in cancer research and clinical trials, a disparity that may hinder improved treatments and treatment outcomes for this population. With its location in our Borderplex, the cancer center is expected to help close that gap by increasing Hispanic participation in research and clinical trials. 

Genesis of a Dream to Help Cancer Patients

With a comprehensive cancer center in El Paso, Borderplex patients will no longer have to bear the cost and hardship of traveling out of town for treatment. They'll remain close to family and friends to support them through treatment and recovery.

"Three of the scariest words you'll ever hear are, 'you have cancer.' It was a difficult journey in the beginning," Steve Fox said. "Even if you have the ability to travel for treatment, it's still very hard. It became obvious to me there was a big disparity in cancer care here in El Paso."

The stress, sleepless nights, travel and overnight stays for treatment were a tremendous burden for the Fox family. During these tough times, they discussed how the experience could pave the way for a better future for all cancer patients in our Borderplex.

"It's one of the reasons that motivated us to help bring a cancer center here," Steve Fox said. "When you're fighting cancer, it's emotional because there's no place like home. With all the other stress you have going on, if you can be with your family and be in your own bed, that's such a blessing."

Cancer Is a Family Journey

Ashley Fox vividly remembers the day she learned of her father's diagnosis. 

"I was 11. My dad met the doctor outside, and I could hear my dad say, 'It's not good news,'" she said. "When you're a child, that sounded horrible: He has cancer. I'm going to lose my dad."

During the course of his treatment, Steve Fox underwent seven weeks of radiation therapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Fortunately, Steve Fox's cancer journey had a happy ending. 

"I didn't know all the different treatments and everything out there," Ashley Fox recalled. "At the time I didn't know you can fight cancer, and you can overcome it."

Paige Fox said her father's illness had a profound impact on their family, particularly on her mother, Nancy Fox.

"My dad was the one who was sick, but she had to step into the role of being father and mother," Paige Fox said. "My sister and I had to grow up emotionally. Sometimes we were lost, and it was a struggle."

Nancy Fox recalled her emotions when she left her daughters at home with babysitters while traveling out of town with Steve for his treatment, and her efforts to prevent disruptions in her family's day-to-day routines. 

"I had to keep up the normal life so the girls wouldn't be afraid. I put on my cheerful face and kept going with God's help," Nancy Fox said.

Steve Fox pointed out the all-encompassing nature of cancer's impact on families and the importance of a support network. He's proud the new cancer center will allow families to remain together during treatment. 

A History of Giving

For decades, the Fox family, through the Fox Family Foundation, has prioritized helping others in our Borderplex region through many community initiatives and events.

For years, they have supported Proyecto Santo Niño, an organization in the Ciudad Juárez colonia of Anapra that helps children with special needs. Just last year, the Fox Auto Team raised funds for scholarships for TTUHSC El Paso's Hunt School of Nursing. The campaign - known as "10 for 10" in a nod to the university's 10-year anniversary - raised $10,000 for 10 $1,000 scholarships. 

"For 45 years, El Paso has been my home, and I love this community. This community has blessed us," Steve Fox said. "Being able to repay some of these blessings is such a gift for us. El Paso needs to be the cornerstone it is, and I'm proud of where we're going with this community."

About Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso

TTUHSC El Paso is the only health sciences center on the U.S.-Mexico border and serves 108 counties in West Texas that have been historically underserved. It's a designated Title V Hispanic-Serving Institution, preparing the next generation of health care heroes, 48% of whom identify as Hispanic and are often first-generation students.

Established as an independent university in the Texas Tech University System in 2013, TTUHSC El Paso is celebrating 10 years as a diverse and innovative destination for education and research. According to a 2022 analysis, TTUHSC El Paso contributes $634.4 million annually to our Borderplex region's economy.

With a mission of eliminating health care barriers and creating life-changing educational opportunities for Borderplex residents, TTUHSC El Paso has graduated over 2,000 doctors, nurses and researchers over the past decade, and will add dentists to its alumni beginning in 2025. For more information, visit

Source: TTUHSC El Paso

About TTUHSC El Paso

TTUHSC El Paso is the only health sciences center on the U.S.-Mexico border and serves 108 counties in West Texas that have been historically underserved. It is the only health sciences center along the U.S.-Mexico border designated as a Title V Hispanic-Serving Institution, preparing the next generation of health care leaders, 48% of whom identify as Hispanic and are often first-generation college students.

222 Rick Francis St. , #Office of Institutional Advancement
El Paso, Texas


More Press Releases