ABTA Commemorates 50th Anniversary at 2023 National Conference, September 8-9
CHICAGO, Ill., February 22, 2023
A champion of the brain tumor community for 50 years running, the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) has launched its most ambitious undertaking yet – a five-year, $50-million fundraising campaign called Meet Hope Head On.
The Meet Hope Head On campaign will focus on three pillars: tripling the ABTA’s research investment, doubling the number of patients served, and doubling federal funding for brain tumor research. Throughout its 50-year history, the ABTA has provided vital seed money to fund high-risk, high-reward research grants which have contributed to significant breakthroughs in treating brain tumors by many of the country’s leading researchers.
“From our humble beginnings 50 years ago, the ABTA has accomplished more than our founders could have ever envisioned when they saw firsthand the tremendous void in finding the resources and experts to guide them through a brain tumor diagnosis,” said Ralph DeVitto, President & CEO of ABTA. “Despite the progress that has been made, brain tumors remain incredibly difficult to treat. The Meet Hope Head On campaign accelerates our vision of a future where not one life – not one loved one – is lost to a brain tumor.”
One such patient who is defying the odds and symbolizes hope for the more than 1 million children and adults living with a primary or metastatic brain tumor is Katie Groetsema, a 20-year brain cancer survivor. As her mom, Karen Merckle, explains, “Katie is one of the outliers, so sharing her story gives others hope. Every year she lives longer, there’s new research and a chance for new treatment – giving us more hope.”
Katie and her family will be among the more than 1,000 brain tumor patients and families who will gather in-person and online at the ABTA’s National Conference, September 8-9, 2023, at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel, to network with one another and hear from some of the country’s most renowned researchers and medical professionals committed to finding a cure for brain tumors.
The first national organization dedicated to brain tumor research and education, the ABTA was founded in 1973 by two mothers, Susan Netchin Kramer and Linda Gene Goldstein, who both had young daughters battling brain tumors and were disheartened by the lack of brain tumor resources available to families. At the time of ABTA’s founding, brain tumor resources were limited and neuro-oncology as a medical specialty did not exist. Since then, ABTA has changed the landscape of a brain tumor diagnosis by:
- Serving more than 100,000 patients and caregivers annually
- Investing more than $34 million in vital research
- Helping establish the field of neuro-oncology, which ABTA is recognized as the pioneer in this effort
- Co-founding the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS) – the first and only national registry to collect data on the incidence, prevalence, and survival rates of brain tumors.