We are committed to defeating GBM


National Brain Tumor Society’s determination to defeat glioblastoma (GBM) has roots grown from the original founding of our two legacy organizations: The Brain Tumor Society (TBTS) and the National Brain Tumor Foundation (NBTF). In the 1980’s, four families – on opposite sides of the country – who founded these organizations were each struggling to come to terms with brain tumor diagnoses.

Meet Bonnie Feldman

National Brain Tumor Society’s determination to defeat glioblastoma (GBM) has roots extending back to the original founding of our two legacy organizations: The Brain Tumor Society (TBTS) and the National Brain Tumor Foundation (NBTF).

In the early to mid-1980’s, four separate families on opposite sides of the country were struggling to come to terms with a disease that had turned their worlds upside down.

NBTS Board of Directors Vice Chair, Rob Burger, and his aunt, NBTS co-founder, Bonnie Feldman

In Boston, MA, Bonnie and Dr. Sid Feldman had just watched their bright, vibrant teenage son, Seth, endure the devastating effects of GBM. Diagnosed at 14, Seth lived long enough to achieve his life-long dream of attending Dartmouth College. Unfortunately, while home on winter break following his first semester at the storied Ivy League institution, Seth passed away due to his disease in December of 1988.

Around the same time, 3,000 miles away on the west coast, well-known San Franciscan civic leader and World War II hero, Walter Newman, was envisioning how he could combine his expertise in community organizing to help mend the hole left by the death of his son to a malignant brain tumor. His quest led him to cross paths with David and Nora Plant, who’d also lost a son to the disease. Coincidently, back in Boston, the Feldman’s had also been introduced to another pair of parents grappling with a child’s brain tumor diagnosis, the Ross family.

Answering the question of, “What can we do to help fight back against brain tumors?” these sets of parents founded TBTS and NBTF, which would ultimately merge in 2008 to become the NBTS we are today.

Through advocacy, these two organizations, and the work we’ve carried forth since, helped put brain tumors on the national map as a cause Congress needs to recognize. And through research funding, NBTF, TBTS, and NBTS have helped move the science and understanding of brain tumors out of the medical “dark ages.”

And, while very few effective treatment options exist for brain tumors today, the situation was heartachingly even direr in the 1980’s – before the advent of temozolomide (Temodar), Optune, Avastin, and corresponding improvements in technologies related to medical imaging, diagnosis, surgery, and radiation. Further, the ability to simply hop on the internet to search out information, support, and guidance for a brain tumor diagnosis was not an option.

We remain committed to answering a similar version to that question the Feldman’s, Ross’s, Plants’s, and Newman’s asked four decades ago: “What more can we do accelerate the development of better treatments and cures for GBM, and all brain tumors?”

Glioblastoma Awareness Day is a platform to address this question, while encouraging and welcoming all Americans to join as part of the solution.

Ways to Support

JOIN AN EVENT

Register for a regional event today, and experience the power of communities coming together to conquer and cure brain tumors once and for all.

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