Why was Making Headway Foundation created?

After their daughter Cynthia underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation for her malignant brain tumor, Maya and her husband Edward struggled to find the help they needed to try and return to a more “normal” life. They didn’t know where to turn for advice on how to address the stresses that their family faced, or where to find help. Little by little, here and there, they found resources to help, but it was a haphazard, difficult, and often frustrating endeavor. A few years later, Maya started working as a volunteer art therapist in the NYU playroom. There she met many other families that were going through the same stressful journey that she had had gone through. They needed help in the hospital and navigating the system; they needed help at home, learning to cope with new dynamics, responsibilities and emotions; they needed help in their communities, addressing the challenges of school and life. Maya and Edward knew—from their own experiences— that they wanted to provide support and resources to families facing these sorts of challenges. Thus, the vision for Making Headway, and its mission of “care, comfort, and cure,” was born. In 1996, Clint Greenbaum (a fellow parent), Maya, and Edward established Making Headway Foundation to make their vision into a reality. The past 25 years has been a journey of love for everyone at Making Headway. Although there have been deeply sad moments, we have also been able to see the joy and help our services have brought to families. We are touched by every family who has been part of the Making Headway journey.

What are the goals of Making Headway Foundation?

Making Headway Foundation’s mission is to “provide care and comfort for children with brain and spinal cord tumors while funding medical research geared to better treatments and a cure.” Medical science has made significant, rapid advances in the treatment of pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors. Afflicted children are living longer than ever before. Yet even the best medical team can address only some aspects of the care and support these children and their families need. Making Headway provides supportive care and comfort to families of children diagnosed with a brain or spinal cord tumor, before surgery, during the hospital stay, and after the child returns home. Our programs and services are designed to help children and their families cope with the fear, anxiety, and neurological consequences of hospitalization, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. At the same time, Making Headway is helping to find a cure, funding vital medical research in a field that has long been underfunded.

What is the focus of Making Headway Foundation's efforts?

Making Headway Foundation is specific focused on families impacted by a pediatric brain or spinal cord tumor. Brain tumors are the most common type of pediatric cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths in infants, children, and young adults under age 20. In 2021, an estimated 4,630 new cases of pediatric brain tumors will be diagnosed in the US. Research into this disease is significantly underfunded and we all need to work together to find better treatments and a cure.

In what ways does Making Headway support the brain tumor community?

Over the past 25 years, we have raised and allocated over $26 million to support medical research, quality-of-life programs, college scholarships, hospital care services, clinical trials and medical research, neuro-oncology fellowships, family events, emergency care, educational advocacy, bereavement services, raising awareness, playroom improvements, free family and individual therapy, health and wellness, tissue banking, and research equipment.

Why does Making Headway Foundation support the CBTN?

CBTN represents the best of collaborative research, open-access data, and cutting-edge research with a specific goal to improve the health children and young adults diagnosed with a brain tumor. Only by working together, can our community finally make the medical breakthroughs needed to develop new treatments and a cure. Making Headway is proud to be part of this global effort.