Bridge To A Cure Foundation reflects on lessons and accomplishments of this past year—and sets sights on major advancements for kids with brain tumors.
We started out 2022 by doubling down on our commitment to collaboration. Collaboration is what America’s health system was, and still largely is, missing. This lack of cooperative effort has mired childhood cancer research so much so that in the past 50 years not one new drug has been developed specifically to fight childhood brain tumors — not one! It’s no wonder that childhood brain tumors consistently rank as the #1 killer of children by disease in America for the past two decades.
Bridge To A Cure Foundation focused to further three key strategic imperatives this past year, and thanks in part to help from board members, supporters, and partners like you, we’ve made game-changing strides.
Collaboration Saves Lives
By challenging the disparate, siloed approach entrenched in the childhood cancer medical research system, our coalition has proven we can cut years — even decades — from what is now a lengthy, mired, and inefficient process.
We’ve identified like-minded change-makers who have the same goal of saving children’s lives—naturally aligned partnerships based around impact. Some of the ways we’ve come together in 2022 to realize progress toward cure:
- Focus on developing better treatments and cures for childhood brain tumors. To this end, we have aligned our mission and integrated our resources with the Children’s Brain Tumor Network (CBTN) whose goal is to ensure that no child suffers or dies from a brain tumor.
- Commitment to opening up and harmonizing valuable childhood brain tumor data so the widest possible set of researchers can access and use it — all along the data journey: collection, processing, dissemination.
- Collaboration with St. Baldrick’s Foundation to influence research funding decisions and legislative priorities.
Plain and simple, if brain tumors are cured, childhood cancer deaths will be reduced by over 50%. This year, we directly contributed to ensuring more researchers have access to one of the largest and most easily shared data collections worldwide. As our reach and network grows, so too does the childhood cancer community’s acceptance of collaboration and open science, which leads to more funding, legislation support, and more hands on deck. That’s full-circle progress.
We’ve Accelerated the Path To Treatments
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) identifies the Children’s Brain Tumor Network as the model for open science. Bridge To A Cure believes that cures for childhood brain tumors will be found in its shared data. During Childhood Cancer Awareness month in September, we announced a new partnership with CBTN. The foundation established the Bridge To A Cure-CBTN fund in memory of founder Robert Martin’s granddaughter Clara, who passed away due to a type of pediatric brain cancer. Our move to integrate with this innovative consortium has already seen results. CBTN has begun to deliver on Project Accelerate, the largest data release of its kind—ever. This flood of new data is now being made available freely to scientists and researchers working to find cures. Moving into 2023, we look forward to being able to empower CBTN’s mission of collaboration and open science for the sake of children everywhere.
Expanding For Impact
Bridge To A Cure foundation has amplified the demand for legislative action this year and has had a direct hand in influencing lawmakers to support stronger bills for childhood cancer research, which has for too long been an afterthought for Congress. Much of this effort has been in partnership with St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Martin sits as a member of their Board of Directors and this past year has advocated on its legislative subcommittee for funding bills that reward open science and data-sharing models. In October, Bridge To A Cure Foundation helped influence the passage of the STAR Act renewal with new provisions that accelerate the pace of discovery and require data sharing. By strategically partnering with those like St. Baldrick’s Foundation, America’s largest private funder of childhood cancer research, Bridge To A Cure is able to greatly accelerate advancement toward cures.
How Your Contribution Is Being Used
Your words of encouragement, a partnership of support, and generous giving make all that Bridge To A Cure accomplishes possible. Joint advocacy like the Kids First Act Call on Congress pushes us in the right direction to see systemic change in the pediatric cancer realm. Generous giving, as we saw during this past Giving Tuesday, helps us to continue the valiant effort that makes projects like CBTN’s Project Accelerate possible. These efforts help us envision a world where, one day, we can celebrate together the fact that childhood brain tumors no longer devastate the most vulnerable members of our families and communities.
Would you like to learn more about the amazing progress we made in 2022? Email us to get connected with Bridge To A Cure Foundation leadership.