Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation funds new ARCS Scholar



The Ben & Catherine Ivy Foundation (Ivy Foundation) is providing a scholarship for John Heffernan, an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) scholar. Heffernan is currently pursuing a Ph.D in bioengineering at Arizona State University and plans to focus on glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain cancer research.

The Ivy Foundation is the largest privately funded brain cancer research foundation in North America and has been dedicated to furthering brain cancer research since 2005.

“We are pleased to be able to help John further his studies in such a critical area,” said Catherine Ivy, founder and president of the Ivy Foundation. “With support from Ivy Foundation and ARCS, we hope John can take the steps necessary to grow in this crucial phase of his scientific career.”

The ARCS Foundation advances science and technology in the United States by providing financial awards to academically outstanding U. S. citizens studying to complete degrees in science, engineering and medical research. ARCS Scholars are selected annually by a number of qualifying departments within the ARCS Foundation’s 54 academic partner universities.

The ARCS Foundation Phoenix recently held their 41st Annual Scholar Awards Dinner at the Phoenix Country Club. The proceeds provide financial awards to outstanding graduate Ph.D. science students attending Arizona State University (ASU), Northern Arizona University (NAU) and University of Arizona (UA).

The Phoenix Chapter currently has 39 scholars and has awarded over $5,692,900 to 935 scholars at the three Arizona state universities since 1975.

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Such a Touching Story

Boss sells restaurant he has owned for 17 years to pay medical costs for employee, 19, with brain tumor

A generous boss is selling the restaurant he has owned for 17 years to help a 19-year-old employee suffering from a brain tumor.

Brittany Mathis, whose father died suddenly from a brain tumor when she was just a child, was diagnosed last month – but does not have health insurance to cover the costs of her treatment.

Now Michael De Beyer, the German-born owner of Kaiserhof Restaurant and Wunderbar in Montgomery, Texas, has offered to sell his life’s work to help the young server.

‘I’m not able to just sit by and let it happen,’ he told the Montgomery Courier. ‘I couldn’t live with myself; I would never be happy just earning money from my restaurant knowing that she needs help.’

Read more:

Viv Raises Money for Brain Tumor Charity with a Cookbook

Brave mum Viv copes with battling a brain tumour by signing up celebrities and their recipes for her fundraising cook book

VIV MCBETH, of Prestwick was 32 when doctor’s discovered she had a brain tumour after she suffered blinding headaches which would wake her up during the night.

Viv McBeth is has raised £8000 for Brain Tumour UK from her cookbook, Viv's Kitchen.
Viv McBeth is has raised £8000 for Brain Tumour UK from her cookbook, Viv’s Kitchen.
WHEN Viv McBeth beat a deadly brain tumour, she wanted to help the doctors who saved her life.

So she signed up celebrities for a cookbook to raise cash for research into the condition through the charity Brain Tumour UK.

Lorraine Kelly, Miranda Hart and Matthew Wright are among those who supplied favourite dishes for the book, called Viv’s Kitchen, which so far has raised £8000.

Viv, now 40, found her world was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour, aged 32.

Scared she wouldn’t live to see her son Euan, then three, start school, she found comfort in her love of cooking.

Viv, a former financial adviser, now works full time for the Brain Tumour UK Charity.

She compiled the cookbook after meeting telly queen Lorraine at a charity awards ceremony and then wrote to a host of other household names asking for their help.

The mum-of-one, from ­Prestwick, Ayrshire, was delighted when Lorraine replied with a recipe for her mum Anne’s signature homemade chicken soup.

Contributions from comedian Miranda, TV presenter Matthew, former Scotland goalie Alan Rough and Rab C Nesbitt star Barbara Rafferty followed.

Viv is now hoping to attract more famous names for a second edition.

She said: “Home cooking was one of the things that kept me going when I was down. Making healthy meals made me feel good and I wanted to share my love of food with others.

“I couldn’t believe it when Lorraine Kelly sent me a recipe for her mum’s homemade chicken soup, so I decided to email more celebrities. Soon, Miranda Hart had sent me a recipe for a trifle and Matthew Wright another for a lovely chicken dish cooked with spinach.

“The teachers at my son’s school tell me how much they’ve enjoyed making the recipes.”

Viv first felt ill while making a banoffee pie in April 2005.

Days of blinding headaches followed and she and husband Paul, 44, began to worry when the pain became so bad she couldn’t sleep.

But they could never have prepared themselves for the devastating news that followed.

Viv said: “I thought I had a bug but I was waking Paul up at 3am asking him to massage my temples because the pain was so bad.

“Luckily, my GP took me ­seriously and they gave me a CT scan. Ten days later, I was told it was a cancerous brain tumour and I’d need ­radiotherapy.

“I was devastated – it was like being punched in the stomach. I was a young mum and I never thought anything like it would happen to me.

“I just felt so alone. I’d never heard of anyone who had brain cancer at 32 and I was terrified I would never see my son grow up.”

Viv had 33 sessions of ­radiotherapy and was given a life expectancy of five years.

But she has enjoyed good health since her treatment and has founded a support group for brain tumour sufferers in her area.

She added: “I wouldn’t say I’d had the all-clear but I’ve had good health for the last few years and feel blessed to have reached my 40th birthday.

“My tumour was only detected as it had a pocket of fluid around it that was causing the headaches.

“It could have been a different story and it’s because I’m one of the lucky ones I’ve done this.

“I had a good job but my illness made me rethink things and I realised spending time with my family was more important than going on two holidays a year.

“I had to stay positive for Euan but I was determined that cancer wouldn’t ruin my life.

“The cookbook was a lot of work but handing over a big cheque to Brain Tumour UK made it ­worthwhile.

“Research into brain tumours is underfunded, so it’s important to raise awareness of the ­condition. I hope people remember that every time they open the book.”

Inspiration Spotlight: Liz Salmi

Operation life

Liz Salmi is just a gal living in Sacramento, who likes to hang out with her husband and loves her job in communications. After she was diagnosed with brain cancer five years ago, however, Salmi began using her blog, The Liz Army (, to keep loved ones in the loop on her cancer status. Now, Salmi reaches thousands with the site, using posts to advocate for the National Brain Tumor Society. Salmi sat down with SN&R to talk about blogging, her advocacy work, living with brain cancer and, really, just living.

When were you diagnosed with brain cancer?Liz Salmi

July 2008. I had just turned 29. My first symptom was a really big seizure. So, that’s how I found out, from a seizure.

So, where are you now?

I’m done with treatment. Where I’m at is there’s still cancerous tissue in there. I’ve had two surgeries to try to get rid of as much of it as possible right away, and then I was put on an oral chemotherapy pill. I have been off that pill for two years, and I get scans … every four months to watch the brain. It’s still there, it’s just kind of frozen, deer-in-the-headlights style. [When the] tumor is still there, as long as it doesn’t change, you’re good.

When did you start using your blog specifically for cancer updates?

Well, when you have a crazy disease, everyone wants to know what’s going on, and I let everyone know I had a brain tumor, and I was going to have brain surgery. I got my cellphone, which they shouldn’t have given me, and I created a text message, like, “I have a brain tumor. I’m going to have brain surgery in three days.” I copied everyone in my phone, and I sent it. I was out of it, so my boyfriend at the time started emailing everyone updates, and I thought, “You know, rather than emailing everyone updates, I should just open up the blog and let them follow along that way.”

What has the response been?

I’m getting about 12,000 to 13,000 unique visitors every year. It’s not just people with brain cancer. It’s their loved [ones]. It seems like your friend gets diagnosed, and you want to talk to them every day, but you know they’re busy, so you’re trying to find out what’s this like, and so you read this stuff, and [they realize], “Oh, so that’s what they’re going through.” It’s not exactly the same, but then, people feel like they can understand what their friend is going through.

How has social media helped you in your recovery in living with your disease?

The blog is a conduit for me to find other people like me. I am able to develop an online network of people who know what it’s like. We don’t all have the same type of tumor, we don’t all have the same symptoms, we might not all have the same treatment, but we all experience the same fear or guilt. So, there’s no way I can walk out on the street and meet that person, but through social media and this online world, I am able to make those connections.

What is the worst thing anyone has said to you about your diagnosis?

I was on the phone with my sister … about a month-and-a-half after the diagnosis, and she was just like, “I don’t know how to react. I’m really scared. It seems like everyone’s getting cancer. First it was you, now my dog has cancer.” I was like, “Can you really compare the two?” I don’t think she realized, but I was just like, wow.

Best thing anyone’s said?

Having a blog and writing about all my experiences, I get lots of feedback through the comments section, and then there’s Twitter and there’s Facebook. Even just the first time hearing that I wrote something and it’s exactly how someone else feels—one, I don’t feel alone, and two, [it feels] cool that someone else felt like I said what they feel.

You’re also an advocate for the National Brain Tumor Society.

I am an unpaid volunteer, but I am the lead advocate for the state of California—which is a huge state. I’m like, “Can there be more of us?” There’s just a couple of national brain-tumor organizations. [The National Brain Tumor Society] is the biggest one, and they deal mainly with advocacy.

Greatest ambition?

Right now, I’m living, and I think a lot about [that] I have this disease, and I’m going to accomplish this. I would love to get out of that one day and live like a normal person and not think about accomplishments and checking things off related to my disease. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get there, but that would be cool.

Betty Hayden is Back to Pruning Roses After Fighting Rare Brain Cancer

After Brain Cancer Battle, Orange County, CA, Resident Picks Up Active Life Where She Left Off

Released: 5/31/2013 8:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Newswise — LOS ANGELES (June 3, 2013) – Westminster resident Betty Hayden loves to work in her yard and looks forward to traveling on weekends to dog shows with her daughter. But the retired school employee’s active lifestyle came to a halt last June with the sudden appearance of aggressive brain tumors.

After the diagnosis, Hayden’s daughter, Tammy Porter, expected doctors to quickly create a coordinated treatment plan. When they didn’t, she contacted brain cancer specialists at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where Hayden was evaluated and hospitalized within days. A year later, the cancer is in remission and Hayden is back in action, tending to her yard a couple of hours a day.

“In my opinion, they saved my mom’s life because they worked so fast to get us in,” said Porter, who first noticed changes in Hayden’s behavior during a weekend dog show in Ventura.

“She was going to bed really early, which isn’t like her,” Porter said. ”My mom can run circles around everyone else, but she was going to bed at 7 o’clock and sleeping a lot. She just wasn’t 100 percent herself. She was walking a little to the left, and I noticed that when she was talking, she sometimes would throw in a word that was kind of out of left field,” said Porter, who looks out for her mom who lives alone after being widowed about 10 years ago. They made an appointment for Hayden to see her doctor as soon as they got home.

Hayden’s behavior at the brief doctor’s visit was normal and blood tests were negative. But, Porter, convinced something wasn’t right, asked if a brain scan could be done.

“After the CAT scan, I got a call from the doctor, saying, ‘Your mom has two masses in her brain. You need to get to an emergency department ASAP,” Porter said, adding that her mother, 72, has always been fit, healthy and active. A biopsy found that the masses in her brain were cancerous.

“That was just horrible. I got the call and sat down with her and told her. … It’s amazing how something you don’t even know about just all of a sudden changes your life,” Porter said.

Hayden said the doctor seemed indifferent: “I said, ‘Now what do we do?’ And the doctor said, ‘We’re finished. You have to go see another doctor.’”

But Porter, believing her mother needed medical attention sooner rather than later, grew frustrated with the doctors’ apparent lack of interest, urgency and follow-up. As she tried desperately to reach unavailable doctors, she asked a friend to search the Internet for other options. The name of Keith L. Black, MD, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai, came up, and Porter sent an email to James Villalobos, RN, program development coordinator, in the department.

“It was about 9 o’clock on a Saturday night and I emailed Dr. Black’s office, not expecting, of course, to hear from them until Monday. But that’s when James called back. He called me back that night, at 9 o’clock. I was amazed,” Porter recalled, adding that she was even more impressed when Villalobos arranged coordinated consultations at Cedars-Sinai a few days later.

She and her mother met with neurosurgeon Chirag Patil, MD, director of the Center for Neurosurgical Outcomes Research, and neuro-oncologist Jeremy Rudnick, MD, a brain cancer expert in the Department of Neurology and the Department of Neurosurgery. Because Hayden’s cancer was not amenable to surgery, Rudnick took the lead.

“He looked at her MRIs and started telling us about this disease,” Porter recalled. “He said, ‘I’d like to get you in right now. This is a fast-growing cancer.’ He showed us her MRI pictures. This was the first time we had seen them. Her brain center line was totally out of skew. Her brain had so much swelling because of the tumors it’s amazing she didn’t have more side effects.”

Rudnick said Hayden’s cancer, central nervous system lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is so rare that a general hospital may see a case only once every five years; Cedars-Sinai doctors treat 10 or 20 patients a year. It’s considered a stage 4 lymphoma, one of the most aggressive forms of the disease.

“With this disease, we can see a doubling of tumor in just weeks. Betty was declining quickly but she and her daughter weren’t getting the information or help they needed. The day after we saw her we had her in the hospital getting high-dose IV chemotherapy,” Rudnick said, adding that Cedars-Sinai has several treatment options for the disease, including an aggressive and potentially curative high-dose chemotherapy/stem cell transplant protocol.

Hayden underwent a more standard regimen: a weeklong hospital stay for chemotherapy every other week for four or five months.

“If she had gone much longer without treatment, I don’t know that she would have survived. But she responded beautifully and her disease is in remission. She had a response in all the tumors and right now her MRIs are completely clean and clear. She’s doing remarkably well, pruning the rose bushes and going to dog shows,” Rudnick said. “For me, that’s incredibly rewarding.”