A Legacy That Would Last for Generations 

In November of 2007, Alvin Charles Copeland Sr., affectionately known as “Big Al” was diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer known as Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Throughout his fight against cancer, there were no FDA-approved treatments available for this disease. The lack of resources and treatment options available left Big Al and his family helpless amidst his diagnosis.

Through the uncertainty and heartbreak they experienced, the Copeland family was exposed to the realities of cancer and the ensuing hardships that it brings. Immediately, they recognized they had an opportunity to fill a deep need within the state of Louisiana.

Though Big Al lost his battle to Merkel Cell Carcinoma in March of 2008, his life and legacy live on through the mission of the Al Copeland Foundation.

  • ACF Icon 03
  • ACF Icon 01
  • BigAl image 002 scaled

A Path to Fulfill A Wish 


The Virtual Research Nurse Pilot Program at LSU Health New Orleans receives national recognition. This program provides community oncologists in Louisiana and Mississippi with access to the latest clinical trial programs. This initiative aims to improve clinical trial accessibility through telehealth medicine.


We expanded our partnership with LSU Health New Orleans to invest in innovative research and treatment. The partnership’s first goal was to expand access to clinical trials.


The FDA approved the immunotherapy treatment to help patients fight Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) nationwide.


LSU Health New Orleans became one of nine sites nationwide to offer immunotherapy trials treating MCC. A local patient received the treatment and remains cancer-free today.