Out of Pain, Purpose.

How One Grandfather’s Journey Powers our Mission.

Bridge To A Cure Foundation

Bridge To A Cure Foundation Founder and President Robert (Bob) Martin understands the flaws in our healthcare system. He knows why cancer research is failing our children — so much so that just three new childhood cancer treatments have been developed in the past 40 years. His granddaughter, Clara, was stricken with a form of brain cancer at just 4 years old. In seeking a cure for her, he uncovered several serious shortfalls in America’s approach to childhood cancer research and treatment.

Bob collected insights from more than 120 cancer researchers and practitioners to learn what’s behind the absence of breakthroughs to cures: the absence of a national childhood cancer database, a clinical trial process designed for children, and appropriate funding.

Sadly, Clara passed away from the disease in 2017 at age six. Her courage and positive spirit continue to inspire Bob’s unique, multifaceted approach to accelerate the pace and success of cures for hundreds of thousands who suffer from childhood cancer. In 2017, he established Bridge To A Cure Foundation to help families touched by this terrible illness.

Download the 2022 Annual Report

Hear more about Bob Martin’s journey of discovery, disappointment, and determination.

We’re Modernizing Childhood Cancer Research,

Dedicated to Healthier, Happier Kids.

STAFF

Founder & President/Chair, Board of Directors

Robert Martin

Founder & President/Chairman, Board of Directors

Understanding, empathy, and courage. This combination of qualities is a driving force in Robert (Bob) Martin’s life. He enlists them daily in the service of Bridge To A Cure Foundation and has exemplified them in the young reader books he’s penned to inspire kids to chase their dreams and to help those who can’t.

Martin’s grandchildren are the motivation behind his drive — one he endeavors to ignite in other grandparents. His firsthand journey seeking solutions for his own granddaughter serves as catalyst for the change desperately needed to repair the shortcomings in our pediatric healthcare system.

With a background as a successful Fortune 500 company division president, he combines his personal passion with a real-world, results-oriented approach to nonprofit leadership.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Secretary, Board of Directors

Ken Asher

Secretary, Board of Directors

Ken Asher is a partner in the New York City-based law firm, Brown Rudnick LLP, where his practice includes tax matters and administration of private and public charities. He provides counsel and serves as member of the Bridge To A Cure Foundation board of directors and ten additional private and public charity boards.

Asher is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo and Harvard Law School.

Treasurer, Board of Directors

David Gibbons

Treasurer, Board of Directors

David Gibbons knows first-hand the suffering that childhood cancer inflicts. In the early 1980s Gibbons’ teenage son was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma. At the time, the cancer was considered 99% fatal. His son survived, but like many childhood cancer survivors, lives with residual health effects of treatment. Gibbon’s journey through the healthcare system seeking out the newest treatments available led to his interest in improving healthcare outcomes for children with cancer.

Gibbons is an international executive whose career spans leadership at a number of global businesses, including 28 years at 3M. He also served as president of Rubbermaid Home Products, and eventually took the helm at Rubbermaid Europe. Subsequent stints include membership on numerous public company Boards, as well as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Perrigo, a pharmaceutical company now based in Ireland, from 2000-2007, and as Chairman of the Board of Cott Corporation, a global manufacturer of private label beverages, from 2008-2017.

In addition to his role as a member of the Board of Directors at Bridge To A Cure, Gibbons has served recently as Chairman of the Board of Naples Children’s Education Foundation. He is currently a trustee of Southwest Florida Children’s Charities and member of the board of African Parks Foundation USA.

Gibbons graduated from Villanova University in 1965.

Member, Board of Directors

Tricia Martin

Member, Board of Directors

Tricia Martin, RLA, LEED AP, joined the Bridge To A Cure Board of Directors in 2020.

Martin is owner of WE Design, a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based landscape architecture and urban design planning firm, and teacher of urban design at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University. In 2017, Tricia’s six-year-old daughter Clara Ely passed away due to a form of brain cancer. This tragic event led to the establishment of Bridge To A Cure by Tricia’s father, Foundation President Robert Martin.

Tricia brings to the Board of Directors those qualities she applies daily in her profession — collaboration, community inclusion, advocacy, and the vision to create sustainable solutions for complex problems. And, as a parent who’s been touched by the tragedy of childhood cancer, she contributes a direct and profound perspective concerning the valiant efforts of America’s frontline healthcare workers and the troubling failures of its healthcare system.

Martin graduated with a BA in environmental studies from the University of Vermont and received her MLA from the University of Oregon.

Member, Board of Directors

Wendy Payton

Member, Board of Directors

Wendy is the director of communications at the Center for Data Driven Discovery in Biomedicine (D3b), part of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). There, she works to build awareness and support for collaborative data-sharing initiatives of Bridge To A Cure coalition partner Children's Brain Tumor Network (CBTN) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Kid's First portal, among others. Prior to this, Wendy served as executive director for Bridge To A Cure.

Having spent more than 25 years as an advertising agency owner and executive, Wendy applies healthcare branding acumen and marketing communications leadership to amplify the mission and progress of Bridge To A Cure Foundation, and to help shine the spotlight on the important work of its coalition partners. She is a tremendous advocate for children with cancer and their families.
She holds a BBA degree in marketing from Cleary University.

Member, Board of Directors

Nan Moore Smith

Member, Board of Directors

Nan Smith is a philanthropist who has been involved in her community for over 30 years. A native of Chicago and a graduate of Manhattanville College, Nan was a mother of two young children when her husband Al was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 35. Nan and Al decided to do something positive with their experience and help others in similar crisis. Together they founded Hackers for Hope, a fundraising event that raised money for cancer research and programs to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families. To-date, the Foundation has donated over $20 million to worthy charities including Bridge To A Cure Foundation, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Stamford Hospital. Nan has held leadership positions at Americares and Changing our World. She served as a long time trustee of the Alfred E. Smith Foundation. Nan resides in New Canaan, Connecticut and enjoys spending time with their children and 6 grandchildren.

ADVISORY BOARD

The Bridge To A Cure Foundation Advisory Board is a panel of renowned healthcare practitioners and industry experts who help inform the organization’s strategies, priorities, and policies.

Rudi Dubois
Member, Advisory Board

Rudi Dubois

Member, Advisory Board

Rudi Dubois, a Vice President at Bernstein Private Wealth Management of New York City, supports pediatric brain tumor research and organizations whose missions are to improve the quality of life of children battling brain tumors, and their siblings. In addition to her advisory role at Bridge To A Cure Foundation, Dubois sits on the Family Advisory Board of The Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation and is a frequent speaker at One Summit, a program that builds resilience in these little warriors through experiential learning with Navy SEALS.

A dynamic investment professional, flexible global thinker, and philanthropist, Dubois partners with individuals applying their expertise and innovation to transform the world. Dubois is enthusiastic about travel and diverse cultures, having lived abroad and speaking five languages. Most of all, she loves staying active and spending time with her teenage son and daughter.

Dubois’ leadership and guidance in many successful organizations allows her to have a positive
impact as a member of the Bridge To A Cure advisory board. And, as the parent of a childhood brain tumor survivor, she understands the urgency of the mission, the horrendous experience young children must go through, and the inefficiencies in the healthcare system that
impede progress toward cures.

Member, Board of Advisors

Ira J. Dunkel, M.D.

Member, Board of Advisors

Ira J. Dunkel, M.D., Member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Professor of Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College, and attending pediatric oncologist at Memorial Hospital and New York Presbyterian Hospital serves as a member of the Bridge To A Cure advisory board.

Dr. Dunkel is a distinguished oncologist and powerful ally for families devastated by cancer. His counsel and support strengthen Bridge To A Cure initiatives to unleash key resources that the pediatric cancer community has been eager to obtain.

Dr. Dunkel received his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and his medical degree from Duke University. He completed his pediatric residency at Duke and then spent 1 year as a fellow in pediatric infectious diseases, both at Duke and at Muhimbili Medical Center in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania before completing a pediatric hematology-oncology fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and New York Hospital.

Dr. Dunkel’s main research interests are in the fields of Pediatric Neuro-oncology, Retinoblastoma, and Developmental Therapeutics. He is currently Chair of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium, a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Brain Malignancy Steering Committee and a Special Government Employee for the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA.

Member, Advisory Board

Henry S. Friedman, M.D.

Member, Advisory Board

Dr. Henry Friedman is an adult and pediatric neuro-oncologist who serves as a member of the Bridge To A Cure Foundation advisory board. He practices at The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University and as an educator at Duke University Medical School. Internationally recognized, Dr. Friedman is a widely published author of more than 500 peer reviewed articles, reviews, and book chapters; senior editor of CNS Oncology; and a reviewer for over 25 academic journals. He has reviewed grants for the National Institutes of Health for over 15 years.

Dr. Friedman brings to the foundation proven experience in drug development, working across many industries with leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, Food and Drug Administration, National Cancer Institute, and advocacy groups to advance breakthroughs to cures for childhood cancer.
In addition to his role as a Bridge To A Cure Foundation advisor, Dr. Friedman serves on
the advisory board of a number of organizations including Voices Against Brain Cancer, the Tug
McGraw Foundation, Pinnacle Care, Transforming Medicine, the National Children’s Cancer Society, Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research and Information, Blast Glioblastoma, The
EndBrainCancer Initiative, and Cancer Expert Now. He is on the Board of Directors of TEAM Doctors Preferred Access, the Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation, and the Foundation for Biomedical Research.

His work has garnered numerous awards including the Visionary Award from the Tug McGraw
Foundation, the Gary Lichtenstein Humanitarian Award from the Voices Against Brain Cancer
Foundation and the Healthnetwork Foundation Service Excellence Award. He is a member of the
American Society of Clinical Investigation and an Honorary Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association.

Member, Advisory Board

Lois Juliber

Member, Advisory Board

Lois Juliber brings the wisdom of extensive philanthropic leadership and serves as a key advisor to Bridge To A Cure Foundation President Bob Martin. In addition to her advisory role at Bridge To A Cure, Lois serves as Chairman of the Mastercard Foundation. She is also a member of the boards of trustees of Wellesley College, Girls, Inc., and Women's World Banking and the President's Council at Olin College.

Lois has demonstrated high achievement as a Fortune 200 senior executive, earning the Financial Women's Association Woman of the Year Award in 1995, the Starlight Association Award for Corporate Leadership, the American Advertising Foundation Award for Diversity Leadership, and many others.

An executive at Colgate-Palmolive starting in 1988, Lois was appointed Chief Technology Officer in 1992. She was promoted to Executive Vice President for Developed Markets in 1997, then Chief Operating Officer in 2000, and Vice Chairman in 2004. She then worked for General Foods for fifteen years, finishing her career there as Vice President.

She sits on the boards of directors of Goldman Sachs and Kraft Foods, and previously sat on the board of DuPont. A Long Island, New York native, Lois and her husband Jon now call Southwest Florida home.

Member, Advisory Board

Al Musella, DPM

Member, Advisory Board

Dr. Al Musella is a retired podiatrist and technologist and founder and president of The Musella Foundation For Brain Tumor Research & Information, Inc, a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity established in 1993 to help brain tumor patients through emotional and financial support, education, advocacy and fundraising for brain tumor research.

In this role, Dr. Musella established the first virtual clinical trial database for brain tumors, which was adopted for use by the National Cancer Institute. Musella has issued more than $7.3 million in research grants and secured Medicare funding approval for the cancer-fighting drugs Temodar, Gliadel, and Optune. His current efforts include lobbying for the “Promising Pathway Act,” legislation that accelerates the clinical trial approval process in order to move new drugs to market more efficiently.

Dr. Musella is a true champion for families devastated by cancer. His pioneering work creating online clinical trial tracking systems and extensive experience building cancer community coalitions greatly advances Bridge To A Cure Foundation efforts to unify and modernize the childhood cancer clinical trial process.

Member, Advisory Board

Carolyn Rogers

Member, Advisory Board

Bridge To A Cure advisor Carolyn Rogers is the senior vice president of the wealth services team at Sanibel Captiva Trust Company. Her career in development and communications in the nonprofit arena demonstrates her ability to genuinely relate with people and donors makes her a powerful ally in the foundation's mission to reduce childhood cancer deaths 50% by 2030.

Rogers greatly assisted in building the foundation to its current place of influence through a formal role at the Collaboratory in Fort Myers, where she served as Vice President of Development and Communications. While on the team, the Foundation more than doubled assets under management and the number of individual funds held there during her seven years of service. Prior to serving at this post, Carolyn led SimplifyPR public relations firm, was instrumental in the initial and longstanding success of the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, guided fundraising growth at Canterbury School and the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida at Lee Health

Rogers holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication, specializing in Public Relations from University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, and certifications in public relations and philanthropy.

Member, Advisory Board

Gary Tapella

Member, Advisory Board

Gary Tapellal is a trusted member of the Bridge To A Cure Foundation advisory board and one of the foundation's longest-serving supporters. He is Operating Partner in the Specialty Manufacturing and Healthcare Products vertical for One Rock Capital Partners, LLC. In 2005 he joined New York private equity firm Ripplewood, and subsequently, One Rock Capital Partners, where he serves on a number of portfolio companies. Tapella is a former director of publicly listed Butler Manufacturing Company and Watsco, Inc., and privately held Airxcel, SRS Distribution and RelaDyne. He is currently on the board of CentroMotion and chairman of Kova International and Robertshaw.

Born in Northern California, Tapella is a U.S. Navy veteran. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in international relations/international service and has completed executive management programs at Northeastern University and Columbia University.

Peter Tombros
Member, Advisory Board

Peter Tombros

Member, Advisory Board

Peter Tombros, Bridge To A Cure Foundation advisory board member, is the Executive Board Chair and Acting CEO of NeuExcell Therapeutics. His extensive experience addressing the unique challenges of biotech research provides valuable insight into the foundation’s mission to overcome the barriers that have limited progress in childhood cancer research. Tombros brings to the foundation leadership in the pharmaceutical industry, including eight years as President and CEO of Enzon Pharma, where he grew the company into one of the top 20 biotech firms in the United States. Prior to that, Tombros spent over 25 years with Pfizer Inc. in a variety of senior executive positions. He currently serves an emeritus role as Professor and Distinguished Executive in Residence in the Eberly College of Sciences BS/MBA Program at the Pennsylvania State University. In 2015, he was selected “Financial Times 2015 Director of the Year.”

Prior to joining the advisory board at Bridge To A Cure Foundation, Tombros served on eight
different publicly traded pharmaceutical company boards, and has been involved in a wide variety of board matters including CEO succession, corporate restructuring, financing, regulatory (FDA, SEC) dealings, and corporate governance issues.

Member, Advisory Board

Sandy Ward

Member, Advisory Board

Sandy Ward joined the Bridge To A Cure Foundation advisory board in 2023. Her passion for making a positive impact in the lives of children was developed through her extensive background in various corporate and community support roles and volunteer leadership.
Ward’s career path includes a coordinating in the Machinery Apparatus Operation for the U.S. Navy at GE, she served as an executive assistant in the Large Steam Turbine division, and performed as the executive assistant to the director of pensions at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Boston.

In addition to her corporate experience, Ward has been deeply involved in community service and philanthropy. Among many other volunteer positions, she served as the president of Children's Aid for two years and was president of the PTA for the International School of Brussels, showcasing her global perspective and dedication to children.

Her extensive volunteering and diverse experiences fuel a remarkable commitment to community, leadership, and making a positive impact for kids and families. Sandy's wealth of experiences and passion for philanthropy contribute significantly to the success of the foundation mission and fundraising efforts.