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Personalized Support

The NBTS Personalized Support and Navigation team responds to outreach from patients with a brain tumor and care partners with quality, unbiased information, resources, support programs, and services. We also assist in meeting other brain tumor-related needs of patients and care partners.

While NBTS does not provide medical advice, we empower our community members with key tools, information, and opportunities for their brain tumor experience while being able to make more informed decisions about their care.

To connect with our Personalized Support and Navigation team, email patientnavigator@braintumor.org.

Our helpful team will respond to your questions and provide you with the personalized information and support you need. Depending on your inquiry, you will connect with one of our three team members.

Patient Navigator: Mary Lovely, PhD, RN, CNRN

Mary Lovely, PhD, RN, CNRN has more than 35 years of experience working closely with brain tumor patients and families as a neurological nurse, clinical nurse specialist, and research nurse. In nonprofit organizations, Mary has provided direct patient support, created and revised educational materials, and organized patient/family conferences. She has continually optimized approaches for patients and families to cope with brain tumor effects.

Mary co-facilitates the San Francisco Brain Tumor Support Group and is a Special Advisor to the International Brain Tumor Association. She serves as an active volunteer for the Milton Marks Neuro-Oncology Family Camp. Additionally, Mary is a patient advocate on the Brain Malignancy Steering Committee. Mary has also consulted with biotech companies conducting clinical trials, communicating with patients and families, and providing input on patient-oriented issues.

Brain tumor patients, their caregivers, and loved ones deserve to figure out how to manage this disease and how they can live their lives to the fullest. They also need someone to listen to them and respect how they approach their disease.

Mary Lovely, PhD, RN, CNRN

Patient Advocate: Rachael Kittleson

Rachael Kittleson is the Director of Community Relations at National Brain Tumor Society. In her role as a patient advocate, Rachael works with patients who have questions about financial assistance, finding support programs, social support, and tissue donation. She has previously served as an educational administrator, nonprofit foundation president, pediatric cancer and brain tumor advocate, and community leader. Rachael specializes in program curriculum development, creating effective and comprehensive educational materials, and engaging with and responding to the needs of diverse stakeholders.

As a former caregiver, I am passionate about providing our community with the support and resources they need to help navigate the challenges of a brain tumor diagnosis, along with providing opportunities for connection so patients and care partners know they are not alone.

Rachael Kittleson

Patient Advocate: Kimberly M. Wallgren

Kimberly M. Wallgren is the Executive Director of the CERN Foundation, a program of the National Brain Tumor Society. Under Kim’s leadership, the CERN Foundation has built the leading ependymoma tumor-focused community in the United States and globally, raising public awareness, advancing medical research, and providing support and advocacy for this often underserved disease affecting children and adults.

Bringing nearly fifteen years of experience interacting with patients and families, Kim is passionate about the individual experience of a CNS tumor diagnosis and seeks to influence outcomes by providing direction and education at critical points of the journey. Kim is committed to collaboration between all stakeholders, and she bridges gaps between industry leaders and the patient community.

For me, it is most important to lead with empathy and listen with a careful ear to understand the family’s situation. My goal is to empower families to take the best next step unique to their situation and meet them where they are at in their experience with a brain or spinal cord tumor diagnosis.

Kimberly M. Wallgren

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