Dear NBTS Community,
Shortly after reports of coronavirus outbreaks emerged across the country in early March, NBTS provided an update to our community detailing plans to move all of our activities and events scheduled through June 2020 to virtual platforms. While we were saddened by the thought of not being able to connect — a hallmark of the NBTS experience — with all of our amazing supporters in person this Spring, in many ways the decision was a no-brainer (no pun intended). As an organization devoted to the health and well-being of the brain tumor community, we had to make the safety of our dedicated teams, volunteers, advocates, sponsors, partners, and staff our top priority. But we also told you that we were committed to maintaining compelling and meaningful online experiences for our community, and, more importantly, managing the focus on our mission, even during these challenging times.
Today, I wanted to share with you what we’ve been up to since that last update, as well as detail our plans for the remainder of the Spring:
Virtual connection is powerful, too! Join us across the country as a caring and connected community during Brain Tumor Awareness Month and beyond. We invite you to join us for our regional virtual events, which will bring together thousands of amazing teams, individuals, and dedicated sponsors and showcase the power of all of us working together. Take action to advance our policy agenda with Congress through the first-ever virtual Head to the Hill advocacy day. We’ll also soon be offering a “DIY fundraising toolkit” so you can unite your local community for a virtual event of your choosing in support of our shared mission. Stay tuned for more information on all the ways we can get together, support each other, and persevere through these challenging times while staying on track to meet our shared goal of curing brain tumors.
There have never been as many truly promising research leads that could turn into new and better treatments than right now. As a field, we have to safely advance research that’s able to continue during the COVID-19 crisis, and then quickly scale up again safely at the right time. With your support, NBTS will soon be able to jumpstart several new treatment R&D programs, engaging universities, hospitals, and biopharmaceutical companies to target pediatric (including DIPG and other pediatric high-grade gliomas) and adult gliomas (including glioblastoma, oligodendroglioma, astrocytoma, and ependymoma), as well as meningiomas, and yield significant and tangible benefits for all tumor types. We will also continue our work with the FDA to reduce the barriers to the evaluation of promising treatments and work with the National Institutes of Health on research funding strategies for brain tumors.
During these continued challenging times of COVID-19, our ultimate hope is for us to come together as one national brain tumor community in an unprecedented way in May, Brain Tumor Awareness Month. We also must forge ahead as much as possible with our mission, as a brain tumor diagnosis is also an urgent, unmet medical crisis and this global pandemic does not change that unfortunate truth. In fact, as a community, we are now dealing with what could be considered a crisis within a crisis. So while we understand that these are difficult times for many, your support and participation at any level during this time is most appreciated so we can keep serving patients and caregivers and driving toward our mission.
Finally, we want you to know that we’re here for you, and always will be until, together, we conquer and cure brain tumors once and for all.
Be safe, be well, and thank you for being with us.
David F. Arons, JD
Chief Executive Officer
National Brain Tumor Society