About CBT

BACKGROUND
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Children’s Brain Trust, an independent non-profit 501(c)(3)organization, was founded by families of children diagnosed with brain tumor disease. Through their child’s journey, these families recognized the limited availability of comprehensive care for their loved ones. Unfortunately, too many of these families learned that the significant improvements in survival rates made the last 30 years for some childhood cancers did not carry over to this leading cause of solid tumor childhood cancer death, brain cancer.
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Many other families came to realize that their surviving children suffer significantly with the late effects resulting from the disease-related treatments administered to them by our healthcare institutions. Considering that the incidence of this childhood cancer has been on the rise in areas of our country like Florida the last decade, the time has come to make a concerted effort to advance the development of more effective, less toxic treatments and improve the quality of life for its survivors.
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Children’s Brain Trust (CBT) acts as a voice of the philanthropic community, advocating nationwide on behalf of the children and their families. Through various avenues, including the Bret Hale Memorial Fund, Project B.R.E.T.and Toughest Ticket in Town, it promotes public awareness with regard to the need to increase the funding of pediatric cancer research. It also raises and distributes funds with the intention of accelerating the pace of childhood cancer research and it spurs collaboration among academic researchers and clinical medical professionals committed to improving pediatric brain tumor treatment outcomes and eliminating pediatric brain cancer.
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Bret Hale Memorial Fund:
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This is a restricted fund where gifts to the CBT are directed and held, until they are awarded to institutions, organizations or individuals committed to accelerating improvements in pediatric brain tumor treatment outcomes.
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The namesake for this fund, Bret Hale, was once asked while applying to a private high school, a question designed to measure his thoughtfulness. The interviewer queried, “If there was anyone you could meet in the world, who would you pick?” The answer was simple for this particular teen; he wanted to meet the person who would find the cure for brain cancer.
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It was just a few weeks later that this young man learned the brain tumor disease, which he had so valiantly fought into remission three years earlier, had recurred. Despite his incredible courage and desire to live, he would succumb to this leading cause of solid tumor childhood cancer death a year later.
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He never had an opportunity to walk the halls of that high school which invited him to attend the institution. Like the thousands before him, there would be no graduation day or college to look forward to. Most unfortunate was that he never met the person who would cure his brain cancer. However, this young teenager will forever be memorialized through this fund and serves as the inspiration for Project B.R.E.T.
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Project B.R.E.T. :
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Childhood cancer kills more children than any other disease in America.  Currently, only 4% of NCI funds are directed to childhood cancer research. Sadly, incidence rates are on the increase for childhood cancer -30%- over the past several years. What does it all mean? It means the need to accelerate the pace of childhood cancer research has never been greater!
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The only way we can accelerate this pace is by increasing the funds directed toward pediatric cancer research and by strongly encouraging the collaboration of premiere research institutions for the purpose of advancing the development of more effective, less toxic treatments that improve the quality of life of those children diagnosed with pediatric cancers.
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Project B.R.E.T. (BenefitingResearch,Ending the Threat) was established to help CBT put itself in a position to award grants to research institutions with monies secured from the donations to the Bret Hale Memorial Fund and Toughest Ticket in Town. This project is emblematic of the fight Bret Hale, and all the children before and since, would want us to continue so that, one day, the threats of childhood cancer will be no more.
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The mission of Project B.R.E.T.is to hasten the pace of advancing childhood cancer research. We accomplish this mission by increasing the amount of collaborative research going on throughout our country. To do this, we recognize that CBT must increase the monies being made available to the institutions, organizations and individuals involved in such work. This increase in financial resources comes by promoting public awareness with respect to the need for increased funding as it relates to pediatric cancer research.
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Thus, Project B.R.E.T. has placed an emphasis in partnering with organizations engaged in pediatric cancer research fundraising initiatives, offering these organizations its volunteers and financial resources to promote and support their fundraising needs. It also strives to promote public awareness of the need for increased funding for pediatric cancer research by identifying the plans for such research that are being made by institutions across the state of Florida. It then utilizes this information to determine the funding needs of these specific research institutions and develops its own strategies to solicit potential donors.
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Last year, Project B.R.E.T.  partnered with the Florida Brain Tumor Association, which has agreed to accept an invitation from the University of Miami Brain Tumor Initiative’s (UMBTI) leadership group to act as UMBTI’s lead community advocate.  We also finalized an agreement which will award UMBTI researchers a total of $100,000 in grant monies for a Dendritic Cell Vaccine Therapy trial. Keeping in line with Project B.R.E.T.’s mission, this trial calls for a collaborative institutional effort whereby Miami Children’s Hospital will enlist patients as well as provide clinical expertise within the trial.
Project B.R.E.T ended 2013 on a high note when it awarded its largest grant to date to the University of Florida. To learn the details of this $500,000 gift please click on the website,
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Toughest Ticket in Town:
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Toughest Ticket in Town is the primary fundraising vehicle of Project B.R.E.T. and it involves the solicitation of ”tickets” for the purpose of supporting pediatric cancer research efforts, as well as the fundraising organization of the solicitors, on a 50/50 basis. It offers young adults and youths across America an opportunity to be a “Champion of the Children.” This fundraising campaign will provide such individuals a chance to be a part of a team recognized, nationwide, as the group that is making the difference in raising the funds needed by research organizations to finally unlock the secrets that have kept us from providing better pediatric cancer treatments and outcomes all these years.
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The collaborative fundraising model of Project B.R.E.T. permits it to offer its campaign, Toughest Ticket in Town, as a vehicle through which each partner can access its current donor base so it can ask, one more time, to show their support of its organization. In addition, it serves to begin the cultivation process with a whole new set of donors, the peers of the solicitors who buy tickets.
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Through this campaign, Project B.R.E.T.seeks to promote public awareness of the need to increase the funding of pediatric cancer research and to motivate and unify our nation’s young adults and youths to commit to taking on the responsibility of increasing the financial support for pediatric cancer research. By providing a vehicle whereby collaborative fundraising can flourish between young adult and youth-based organizations and childhood cancer research-based fundraising organizations, Project B.R.E.T. hopes to create lasting partnerships which will accelerate the day when we will find a cure and end the threat of all childhood cancers!

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