Welcome to Benjamin's Brainwaves!
Dear Friends and Family,
It doesn't seem possible, but this is the seventh year that we all have participated in the Race for Hope - the first two years, as many of you will recall, with Benjamin leading the way. This also is the seventh year of our fundraising partnership with our good friends at Children's National Medical Center and the Dr. Bear's Brain Tumor Busters Team. We have registered again as "Benjamin's Brainwaves" on the Dr. Bear's Team to continue to honor both Benjamin’s battle with cancer and the remarkably skilled, dedicated and compassionate clinicians and researchers at Children's National who continue to fight every day on behalf of the many other kids whose childhoods have been challenged by a brain tumor.
All of us collectively have helped the Dr. Bear’s team raise over $360,000 over the past six years. We apologize for never getting around to sending out the final numbers from last year, but Children’s National brought in just over $60,000 and lodged yet another fifth-place finish out of 596 teams. Benjamin’s Brainwaves raised nearly $50,000, again, and finished second, again, among over 11,000 individual fundraisers. Please help us keep the streak alive by donating to Benjamin's Brainwaves and joining us for the Race for Hope on May 4th.
With brain tumors now the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children under the age of 10, your participation in this fundraising effort is more critical than ever and is making a difference. Those of you who attended Bella Notte at the Italian embassy in February heard Dr. Joseph Scafidi describe the exciting research in developmental neurobiology that he is doing at Children’s National with support from an NBTS grant. And last year we told you on this page about the Defeat GBM Research Collaborative, a subsidiary of the National Brain Tumor Society that was announced just weeks prior to the 2013 Race for Hope. Defeat GBM in essence is a novel nonprofit drug discovery and development company that has engaged the most accomplished brain tumor researchers and clinicians at some of the most prominent brain tumor research centers in the country, along with the pharmaceutical industry, in a methodical, strategically directed research effort with the goal of advancing a therapy through the entire drug discovery/development pipeline and into the clinic to double the five-year survival rate of adult GBM patients in just five years. This multi-million dollar effort is being replicated by the NBTS on the pediatrics side with the recently announced Project Impact, which is being led in part by Dr. Roger Packer, the head of the neuroscience program and Benjamin’s neurologist at Children’s National. The Race for Hope raised over $2.56 million in 2013, which directly supports these innovative research programs.
As always, we are reminded at Race time of your friendship, kindness and generous support throughout the past year. “Benjamin’s Tree House” and the new playground at the NIH Children's Inn was dedicated not quite a year ago, the Stroup family held the annual crawfish boil and carbo-load party the evening before last year's Race, and our good friends at Taqueria Poblano hosted perhaps the largest gathering yet on March 17th to remember Benjamin on his birthday. And a special thanks to my colleagues at Morgan Lewis who have been instrumental to the successful organization and launch of Defeat GBM, and to the Firm for again stepping up as the “Spirit of Volunteers” sponsor of this year’s Race.
We're tremendously thankful for all that you have done and continue to do for us and for the cause, and we hope that you will join us again this year in celebrating Benjamin's life and indomitable spirit and in finding an effective therapy for brain tumors.
Scott, Gina & Abby
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