A Mother’s Determination

Susan Netchin Kramer started the American Brain Tumor Association to find answers to the many questions and unknowns about brain tumors.

Today, we have an endless supply of information at our fingertips. 

When you go to the doctor, you’re able to go home and Google anything you want more information on.

This wasn’t an option back in 1972 when Susan Netchin Kramer’s five-year-old daughter, Stephanie, was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

So what did Susan do?

She founded the American Brain Tumor Association to find answers to the many questions and unknowns about her daughter’s diagnosis.

Susan admits that, at first, her intentions were mainly to raise money to fund research that would save her daughter’s life. But after leaving appointment after appointment confused with the information she received—and talking to others who felt the same way—she realized she had the potential to help people truly understand what was happening to them or their loved ones. Thus, the creation of the ABTA’s Patient Services program.

The research funding program came later, but Susan says that directly helping and impacting patients is what kept her going throughout the years.

“When Stephanie died in 1974, I could have said, ‘Oh, I don’t want to do this anymore,’” Susan said. “But the possibility of helping people in the same situation, and maybe making it less daunting than it was for me…I couldn’t just turn my back on that.”

The possibility of helping people in the same situation, and maybe making it less daunting than it was for me…I couldn’t just turn my back on that.

Susan’s drive to help others impacted by brain tumors has kept the ABTA going for 46 years now. At the 2019 National Conference, numerous patients and caregivers thanked Susan for creating this organization, many stating that ABTA services changed their lives.

“I think the thing I’m most proud of is that we have touched the lives of so many people in ways that I didn’t realize we could,” Susan said. “I just wanted to save my daughter. If you would have told me back then all the people we would go on to help, I don’t think I would have believed you.”

The American Brain Tumor Association relies on your superpowers to help our heroes.

The ABTA is a champion of everyone engaged in the fight against brain tumors, whether they’re patients, caregivers, advocates, healthcare providers or researchers. We focus our efforts on education, support, awareness and research. Please donate today so our heroes receive the support they need to fight for every moment with those they love.

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