Scholarship deadline approaches
Rebecca Webber is a PBTF college scholarship recipient.
For more than a decade, the PBTF has eased the financial burden of college for childhood brain tumor survivors, helping students like Rebecca (right) achieve their academic goals.
This year is no different. In fact, we have expanded our scholarship program by adding the multiyear Galaxy Scholarship.
The Galaxy Scholarship is designed for graduating high school seniors or high school graduates. The program provides a one-time scholarship of $3,000 to students pursuing an associate’s degree in up to two years, or $6,000 to students pursuing an undergraduate degree in up to four years.
Awards are divided into payments of $1,500 per academic year. Award recipients will be required to participant annually in the PBTF’s volunteer program.
The Galaxy award complements the one-year scholarship we’ve offered for several years. The application for both is now online, and the deadline to apply is March 15. Click here to learn more.
Too young to know what cancer means, but not too young to fight
Ella Cate Inman, 5, has conquered two brain tumors.
When Ella Cate Inman grows up, she wants to become a doctor, nurse, artist or maybe even a princess. Her career goals change daily, says her mother, Lori, with a laugh.
Ella Cate, who turns 6 this month, enjoys going to kindergarten, drawing, dancing and singing. She’s been known to belt One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger,” Lori says.
And in her spare time, the Louisburg, N.C., resident can be found on the green turf of a soccer field, running alongside her teammates.
But for the past three years, Ella Cate’s daily routine has also included chemotherapy and advanced medical treatments. In October 2010, doctors diagnosed her with medulloblastoma, an aggressive tumor located in the cerebellum.
“I don’t want cancer anymore.”
Ella Cate has been battling cancer for more than half her life – as long as she can remember.
“She’s so young that she doesn’t know what cancer means,” Lori says. “She’s just now getting to the age where she says, ‘I don’t want cancer anymore.’”
Lori, a psychologist, came up with clever ways to administer her daughter’s oral chemotherapy medication at home.
One tactic that worked was to assemble a princess tent where Ella Cate ate medicine-laced pudding on a special spoon. “Given a bad situation, she’s done well,” Lori said.
A year after Ella Cate finished treatment, the tumor came back. Physicians at Duke University Children’s Hospital prescribed immunotherapy, using drugs to boost the immune system and its ability to fight cancer.
It was effective. As of late February, Ella Cate’s scans were clear.
A positive approach
Lori says that Ella Cate’s positivity motivates her. Despite a grueling schedule of doctor’s appointments and the harsh side effects of medications, Ella Cate smiles and brings back the normalcy of a 5-year-old.
“She loves writing letters and numbers, and she still makes up songs to sing in her room,” Lori says.
The Inman family’s new normal includes serving as advocates for childhood brain tumor research. They participate in Bob’s Buddies, an annual radiothon to benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.
Lori also gives advice to other families struggling with their child’s brain tumor diagnosis. “This isn’t permanent,” she says. “There’s hope.”
Volunteer works for kids
Zoë Artz drapes her medal around her dog's neck after racing in the Philadelphia half-marathon in November.
Every day, Philadelphia native Zoë Artz is a point of reference for families and children experiencing medical difficulties.
Zoë is a pediatric neuro-oncology social worker at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She’s a part of a team of six neuro-oncologists who each see about 15 patients a week – many of whom have brain or spinal cord tumors.
But her desire to help children extends beyond business hours. Zoë dedicates her spare time to volunteering for various causes, including the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s new signature fundraising event, Starry Night.
As the volunteer coordinator of the Philadelphia Starry Night, the avid runner will join hundreds of others walking or running for a cure at the Philadelphia Zoo on Sept. 6.
“I’ve run many 5Ks and a marathon,” Zoë says. “And I always love going to these kinds of events.”
For more information on how you can volunteer with the PBTF, email us.
Share your story with us
"I want to inspire people," Kailey Ford says. "I want to show other young people that they don’t have to give up on their dreams."
Chantal (left) and Rene Cervantes hold their son, Gabriel.
Each Friday on our social media sites, we share personal stories of those affected by childhood brain tumors.
Our hope is that your stories of strength and courage will spread global awareness for the disease.
We tell the stories of survivors like Kailey Ford, who dreams of starring on the big screen one day. She says she won’t give up on her acting career, despite the daily medical setbacks caused by a craniopharyngioma.
Not all of our stories are easy to tell. Chantal and Rene Cervantes lost their son, Gabriel, to an aggressive, deadly tumor when he was a month old. Gabriel’s story reminds all of us about what we’re fighting for.
Your stories shed light on a disease that affects more than 28,000 children in the United States. Share yours today.