The medical care for a brain tumor is complex, and you will likely come into contact with a large medical team. You can act as the patient’s advocate to help to ensure that the patient’s best interests are front and center at all times.

  • Understand what each member of the medical team does. This includes hospital staff, clinic staff, specialists, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Involve the patient as much as possible. Help to ensure that the patient has a thorough understanding of the information he or she is being given and the choices he or she must make. Help get answers to his or her questions.
  • Become the chief communicator. In your role as a caregiver you may have to tackle tough discussions, whether with the patient, medical care team, family, or friends. You may also be in charge of providing updates to friends and loved ones about the patient’s condition. And if you have a medical power of attorney, you may have to speak on behalf of the patient when the patient cannot speak for his or herself.
  • Learn about treatment options, including clinical trials. The ABTA is a great place to start for information on treatment options and available clinical trials. Make sure to discuss these options with the patient’s care team.

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Mindee Plugues


Mindee J. Plugues, of Los Angeles, CA, is vice president, marketing for the Applebee’s brand and brings skills including brand strategy, executive leadership, and marketing to the board. Plugues has been an ABTA donor since April 2001, following her father’s passing from GBM. She is also a former member of the ABTA endurance program, Team Breakthrough.

Bob Kruchten


Bob Kruchten, of Mount Prospect, IL, is a sales manager at Extreme Reach, a leading advertising technology company. He has strong skills in communications and fundraising, and has been advocating for the ABTA for 19 years in tribute to his best friend, Paul Fabbri, who lost his 10-year battle with GBM in 1998. Kruchten accepted the ABTA’s Joel A. Gingras Jr. Award in 2015 on behalf of the Paul Fabbri Memorial Fund.