Annual Minds Matter Benefit Dinner Raises Over $600,000 for Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute

2017 Minds Matter Benefit event chair Ms. Moglnier (front center) with members of the Minds Matter Dinner Committee as well as Northwestern Medicine leadership.

On May 19, more than 430 friends and supporters of the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute (NBTI) gathered for the eighth annual Minds Matter Benefit Dinner. This year’s fundraiser at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago raised over $600,000 in support of the NBTI’s mission areas of research, education, and care.

“It’s clear that the NBTI puts patients and families first, never losing sight of home and heart,” said Geoffrey Baer, who is the evening host on WTTW and served as the Minds Matter emcee. “One thing that sets this event apart for me is the warmth, love, and emotional connection that I feel in this room between physicians, patients, and all of you who support them.”

The NBTI is a nationally recognized leader in the fight against brain and spinal cord tumors, offering patients the most advanced clinical trial and treatment options available. The institute unites the world-class resources of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University with the research and medical expertise of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, allowing its patients to receive the best possible care through Northwestern Medicine, one of the country’s premier academic medical centers.

A Legacy of Strong Leadership

NBTI co-directors James P. Chandler, MD, and Roger Stupp, MD, shared their gratitude with everyone in attendance.

“I have found an institution and team with a dynamic that I have never seen before,” said Dr. Stupp, an internationally recognized neuro-oncologist who joined Northwestern Medicine in April. “The patient is at the center of everything we do, and all of you are a part of this. I hope you are as proud of that as I am.”

Dr. Chandler shares remarks at the event as Dr. Stupp looks on.

In addition to his new role as co-director of the NBTI and chief of the Division of Neuro-oncology, Dr. Stupp serves as professor of Neurological Surgery, Neurology, and Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology. He also is associate director for Strategic Initiatives at the Lurie Cancer Center. Dr. Stupp and his team are best known for their breakthrough research establishing a combination of chemotherapy and irradiation, commonly referred to as the “Stupp protocol” for the treatment of glioblastoma, which has become a standard of care for patients around the world. Dr. Stupp’s work has repeatedly led to United States Food & Drug Administration approval of novel therapies.

Dr. Chandler, co-founder of the NBTI and an eminent and passionate neurosurgeon who has dedicated his career to patients with brain tumors, took a moment to recognize and thank the event committee, advisory board, and sponsors. “Many of you show your commitment by attending this event year after year. Your generosity supports our scientific infrastructure and the research that translates to the bedside. You make these efforts possible.” In addition to serving as co-director of the NBTI, Dr. Chandler is the Lavin/Fates Professor of Neurological Surgery at Feinberg.

Dr. Chandler also acknowledged Jeffrey J. Raizer, MD, professor of Neurology and Medicine, who served as co-director of the NBTI for 9 years. “For all that you’ve done—the great care you provide to patients and your support in establishing the NBTI—thank you,” said Dr. Chandler.

Almost simultaneously with the Minds Matter event, two entirely new treatments developed by researchers affiliated with the NBTI reached their first patients, illustrating how the cutting-edge research being conducted by the NBTI team is having an impact on patient care. Click the links below to learn more about recent happenings:

Cold virus, stem cells tested to destroy deadly brain cancer – New investigational drug acts like a cancer-seeking missile in the brain

First spherical nucleic acid drug injected into humans targets brain cancer

Keep on Fighting

Jamie Mogilner served as the 2017 event chair for the Minds Matter Benefit Dinner and spoke of her family’s experience with brain cancer. Jamie lost her husband, Jay, to a glioblastoma in 2011 when he was just 42 years old. The couple has two young sons.

Minds Matter Benefit attendees watch a video clip about patient experiences at the NBTI.

“The warrior in him never gave up,” said Jamie. “My goal is to make sure that the battle he fought is never forgotten—I will not stop the fight.”

Jamie spoke about her family’s experience with the NBTI during Jay’s illness, describing it as a place of hope and strength. She spoke in particular about the work of Dr. Raizer, her husband’s physician.

“Dr. Raizer wasn’t just a doctor, but a member of our extended family,” she said. “He was endlessly kind and supportive and never gave up on Jay. Let’s keep investing in survivorship and groundbreaking research, and let’s support one another and those who are suffering until we kick this disease.”

Click here to view the video shown at the 8th Annual Minds Matter Benefit Dinner.

Click here to learn more about the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute.

“It’s clear that the NBTI puts patients and families first, never losing sight of home and heart. One thing that sets this event apart for me is the warmth, love, and emotional connection that I feel in this room between physicians, patients, and all of you who support them.”

- Geoffrey Baer, evening host on WTTW and the Minds Matter emcee