Today, it is May 17, 2020 and I am spending my day reflecting on the national brain tumor community.  Specifically, I am also spending a lot of time over the last several weeks, amongst COVID-19, reflecting on the my late husband’s brain cancer journey and the last 18 years of co-founding and running the Chris Elliott Fund, now DBA EndBrainCancer Initiative.  Geez, I cannot believe it has been 18 years since Chris and I established the then “Chris Elliott Fund” with the goal of not only funding very KEY research related to genomics and targeted therapy for Glioblastoma Multiforme, also known as GBM brain cancer but also for the purpose of providing IMMEDIATE ACCESS for other brain tumor/brain cancer patients to brain cancer specialists, such as world renown brain tumor neuro-surgeons, such as Dr. Mitch Berger, IMMEDIATE ACCESS to Brain Tumor Centers noted for their Excellence as well as to specialists that are neuro-oncologists in the brain cancer space as well as to Principal Investigators involved in brain cancer clinical trials.  I am beyond proud of what we have accomplished with my late husband’s request, “Do Something About this Disease”.  Gosh, in many ways, I feel like we have just begun to make great IMPACT and to change healthcare delivery and research as it relates to brain cancer but deep down in my heart and something I do not often share, I am beyond proud of what I have been able to accomplish under the Chris Elliott Fund as well as the EndBrainCancer Initaitive under my daily leadership and grit.  Thank you Chris for challenging me and for knowing you were asking the “right” person to “make it happen”.  XO.

Upon reflecting ALL of this, it is with great pride today that I announce the following two things:

  • May is National Brain Tumor Awareness Month and every April – June, the EBCI runs its annual “National HOPE Award Initiative”, which is kindly sponsored by Novocure (insert URL to Optune Device website).  EBCI is deeply grateful for our longstanding Advocacy relationship with Novocure as this relationship allows EBCI to create and implement really cool and meaningful Initiative’s like this one.  Thank you Novocure.
  • Today, my personal request to all of our BLOG readers is to think about the patient in your life that has a brain tumor or has brain cancer.  The reason that I am asking you to do this is that EBCI and I are seeking candidates and nominations for our annual “National HOPE Award Initiative”.  This year, we want to receive at least 50 nominations for this award.  Then during one of our staff meetings we go over all of the nominations as well as the many photos that have been sent in by loved ones and friends of those that are being nominated and we select the top 3.  We then continue to talk about each submission, share our personal conversations with the nominees as well as with those that nominated them and “try” to express the “message” and “spirit” from each nominated patient with brain cancer.  After much thought, we pick our “winner”!
  • Fast forward to today during COVID-19.  EBCI staff and I have been called upon in multiple ways to serve the cancer patient community as many of these people in need are reaching out to us for help, resources, guidance and support as many of them are having their treatments cancelled and/or postponed and many of these people are scared to death.  It has been an honor to open the doors & services of the EndBrainCancer Initiative to this population.  When many people are losing their jobs, those of us at EBCI who are serving the patient and providing services, have remained intact and while many of us are working from our home offices and working 10-12 hours days, our Clinical Research Nurse and Referral Specialist, Delores Kannas, Delores@EndBrainCancer.org,  has been working on the front lines at our  National “Direct Connect” and Referral Center to also serve this large community of cancer patients.  If you need help/assistance, please contact us today at https://endbraincancer.org/inquiry-form/.
  • In light of COVID-19 and our services to all cancer patients, EBCI and I have been a bit late in seeking nominations for our national “HOPE Award Initiative”, but now, we want to place resources and focus on this very important item right now.  The type of candidate that we are seeking is this:
    • A brain tumor/brain cancer patient that is “showing all of us the way” to carry on their life with others all while they are navigating their brain tumor/brain cancer diagnosis.  We are seeking patients that through their experience in how they are handling and living with their brain tumor/brain cancer, all of us can learn from and find inspiration from.  We are seeking that person who sheds “light” wherever they go and who inspires all of us.  That person who can teach all of us how to best handle their brain tumor/brain cancer diagnosis while still encouraging theirself as well as others how best to live with a brain tumor/brain cancer and how to impacting others in the most positive way possible.
    • Personally, I am looking for a candidate whose story will move me to tears.  Somebody that I want to personally meet, fly out to our “Direct Connect” Patient Services & Support Center, along with their guest, someone that I am beyond proud of to introduce to EBCI’s Board, EBCI’s Patient Services Staff and who I can’t wait to introduce to other key speakers that we will be introducing at our event where we will be presenting our “2020 National HOPE Award Winner” their award as well as encouraging them to share with our audience their IMPACTFUL story as well as to meet leadership from this Award’s Sponsor, Novocure.  Every year, I learn so much from all those that are nominated as well as our Award winner and their guest.  It truly is a very special and meaningful award and time and with that, today, I want to make a special announcement…….
    • I am personally excited to get a chance to talk to each of you that are nominating others for this very special award.  Along with each nomination submitted to EBCI for this year’s award, my assistance will be scheduling a call with the person who submitted the nomination.  This is a time to “state your case and share with me personally why the person YOU nominated should win.  I can’t wait to hear and speak to all of you personally and to be INSPIRED!
    • Click HERE to submit your nomination!

I am SO excited to connect to many of you personally who will be submitting your nominee for this very special annual award, sponsored by Novocure……….I would love to have all nominations by mid-June so that was can make our announcement during mid July just before “National GBM Awareness Day”, set for July 22.  I personally cannot wait to meet you as well in person at our next LIVE event.  EBCI will be flying the winner and their guest out to the Seattle area for a couple of days and handling all lodging/travel expenses, etc. for 2 days, giving you a tour of our National “Direct Connect” Patient Services & Support Center as well as our Referral Clinical, introducing you to key staff and board members as well as introducing you to our keynote speakers as well as to our sponsors.  We cannot wait to learn and be impacted by you!!!  Thank you for showing us how it’s done!