A Message from Catherine Ivy

The Ivy Foundation has the long-term, ultimate goal to cure brain cancer. To that end, we fund cutting-edge research that will improve diagnostics and treatment options for patients with brain cancer. Since 2005, we’ve committed more than $150 million to brain tumor research, with the expectation that this will lead to an eventual cure. We are dedicated to this effort because funding leads to answers, and answers lead to hope.

Our motivation

My husband, Ben, was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiform (GBM) in August 2005 and passed way four months later in November 2005.  He and I always felt it was important to give back to our community and we actively supported education and healthcare.  Upon Ben’s death, the foundation refocused its mission to find a cure for brain cancer.  His suffering and our sudden awareness of the lack of options to fight this disease motivated me to find better diagnostics and to develop therapies to alleviate the debilitating effects patients with brain tumors have to endure.

Always patient-focused

During the last four months of Ben’s life, his quality of life was severely compromised. In addition to his devastating diagnosis, Ben’s suffering made a difficult situation overwhelmingly painful. The mission of the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation is to fund research on gliomas in order to develop diagnostics and treatments that lead to long-term survival and a high quality of life for patients with brain tumors. Patients suffer and don’t survive brain cancer. We want to decrease the suffering of patients with brain tumors and wish to prevent others from having to go through what we experienced. The patient is at the core of everything we do, which is why funding patient-focused research for brain cancer is the priority of the foundation.

Embracing risk

We fund science of merit, but also “riskier” science. An aggressive disease mandates an aggressive treatment. We embrace what others may consider “failure” to be an opportunity to learn and move forward. We intend to be as transparent as possible, to share our mistakes and experiences, and to encourage others in the brain tumor community to do the same. By sharing what we have learned, we can create more efficiency so we don’t duplicate mistakes. We can then focus on new, potentially beneficial approaches.

Working in partnership

While we provide funding for research, we do not give gifts. We view our funding efforts as an investment in a research-partnership with an expected rate of return measured by milestones and results.

Collaborating for the good of all

We also believe in a collaborative approach and are committed to fostering various models of cooperation among researchers to create synergy and efficiency. A joint effort can only increase the impact of discovering a possible solution.

Part of a larger community

We feel privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to this cause and have met so many wonderful members of the brain tumor community. We recognize that the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation is just one part of a large network of researchers, organizations, institutions, companies, patients, and caregivers all working to fight this disease, and we hope that the research our foundation funds will lead us to the day when no one has to go through what Ben did.

Thank you,

Catherine Ivy

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