My husband Ben and I shared the value that it is important to give back to the community. For several years, we often discussed our philanthropic interest in health care and education. Unfortunately, the focus of our newly formed foundation became painfully clear when Ben was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in August 2005 and passed away four months later in November 2005.
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. My goal is to prevent others from having to go through what we endured and to decrease the suffering of patients with brain tumors.
Ben loved the art of deal-making and one of his greatest strengths was turning challenges into opportunities. He was not afraid of risk, which is why we will not only fund science of merit but “riskier” science. Ben and I hoped we could use the business principles and strategies learned in our careers to contribute to philanthropy. It has become clear to me how much our financial planning backgrounds can be applied to the Foundation and the way we fund research.
I feel privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to this cause and have met so many wonderful people who are part of the brain tumor community.
– Catherine Ivy