Glioblastoma Awareness Day Campaign Raises $539,044
Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation funded $250,000 match for research to combat deadly brain cancer.
July 25, 2019 (PHOENIX, Ariz.) – Barrow Neurological Foundation and the Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute led a fundraising effort that raised more than $539,000 for brain cancer research on the first ever Glioblastoma Awareness Day, July 17, 2019. Glioblastoma, also known as GBM, is the most common and deadly form of brain cancer.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona died of glioblastoma nearly a year ago on August 25, 2018. Following his death, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, including Arizona’s Sen. Martha McSally (R) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D), sponsored a resolution for Glioblastoma Awareness Day. The resolution passed unanimously shortly after McSally and Sinema toured the Ivy Brain Tumor Center, the industry-leading center pioneering an innovative approach to treating malignant brain tumors.
The Ivy Center’s Phase 0 clinical trials accelerate and streamline the testing and approval process evaluating new drug combinations in people with brain tumors in as little as seven days. Patients participating in the Ivy Phase 0 trials are given a single dose of an experimental drug before a planned brain tumor operation. After surgery, the Ivy team tests the tumor to determine if it is responding to the drug. This approach allows the neuro-oncology team to continue an effective therapy or quickly move on from a treatment that is not working, saving patients valuable time.
Many of those contributing to brain cancer research on Glioblastoma Awareness Day hope progress can be made against this hideous disease, which has not seen improved survival in 30 years or a new FDA approved treatment in 15 years. The cause was given greater urgency when the Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation pledged $250,000 to match all donations for the observance.
“Tailored, personalized, multi-faceted, non-traditional treatment methods that go beyond the current standard of care are the hope for being able to successfully deal with and beat GBM,” says Randy O’Hare of Dallas, a contributor to the Glioblastoma Awareness Day campaign.
Barbara Larson of Phoenix agrees. She lost her younger brother, William A. Otto, in June 2019 just nine months after his GBM diagnosis. She made a donation in his memory.
“This is an aggressive, unrelenting disease with no cure,” says Larson. “We must do more research to discover new ways to treat and cure this deadly assassin. I thank the Ivy Brain Tumor Center and Catherine Ivy for their generosity and for this opportunity to do something that might help other families.”
Scores of individuals and families contributed to the Glioblastoma Awareness Day campaign, enabling Barrow Neurological Foundation to surpass the Ivy Foundation match, raising $289,044 for a grand total of $539,044. One hundred percent of those donations go toward brain cancer research at the Ivy Brain Tumor Center.
“We are thankful for every dollar donated on Glioblastoma Awareness Day,” says Katie Cobb, BNF’s president. “Catherine Ivy doubled the amount we raised for research once again proving her commitment to developing more effective options for people with brain cancer.”
Ivy’s husband, Ben, died of glioblastoma. Since his death in 2005, there have been no advances in treatment options or outcomes for patients with glioblastoma. Ivy says Phase 0 clinical trials at Barrow have given patients hope.
In 2018, the Ivy Brain Tumor Center was established by a $50 million investment from the Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation in coordination with the Barrow Neurological Foundation, the largest grant in the history of brain tumor research and the largest gift in the history of Dignity Health. The Ivy Foundation is the largest privately funded brain cancer research foundation in North America and has raised more than $92 million.