ASHEVILLE, N.C. and BOSTON — The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) and A Kids’ Brain Tumor Cure (AKBTC, a/k/a PLGA Foundation) are merging to take a massive leap forward in curing all childhood brain tumors.

“The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is excited to join forces with A Kids’ Brain Tumor Cure, a highly respected funder of the most common form of pediatric brain tumor, low-grade glioma,” says Doug Porter, Chairman of PBTF’s Board of Directors. “Together, we will fund research across the widest breadth of children’s brain tumors, ensuring that all children battling brain cancer are represented in the research agenda. Uniting to fight this devastating disease in the areas of family support and advocacy also will mean more families served and a louder voice heard.”

Since its founding 10 years ago, AKBTC has focused primarily on funding research for pediatric low-grade astrocytoma (PLGA) and other pediatric low-grade gliomas (PLGG). The AKBTC’s research seed funding has enabled scientists to apply and win multi-million-dollar grants from the National Cancer Institute and resulted in five new clinical trials that have helped shape the direction for targeted therapies. AKBTC has also been a strong advocate for the PLGA community, bridging the gap with other childhood cancer organizations to effect change. 

PBTF Adds PLGA Fund to Research Strategy

As a result of the merger, the PBTF will broaden its research strategy to include PLGA research as a key component and current PBTF research programs will be enhanced by AKBTC’s additional resources, relationships, and expertise.

Among those investments are the PBTF and AKBTC’s PLGA Clinical Trial Challenge, which has raised more than $75,000 since its launch during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Every dollar raised up to $100,000 will be matched by a generous donor in the pharmaceutical field to help children who have developed a resistance to other treatments. The PBTF’s Project All In and Project Open DIPG opportunity grants have also received $100,000 and $66,000 in funding from the efforts of AKBTC’s Think Fit for Kids event hosted by Kim Gilman and Jeff Gelfand.

The PBTF’s overall research funding program will continue to be led by Dr. Joanne Salcido, vice president of research and advocacy, in partnership with the PBTF’s Research Advisory Network. Amy Weinstein, current AKBTC board member and executive director, has become PBTF’s director of PLGA research and advocacy.

AKBTC’s Scientific Advisory Board, which has led the PLGA research agenda for the past decade, will remain intact and will continue to help shape the strategic direction for the PLGA research community, as well as evaluate potential funding opportunities for PLGA research. 

PBTF-Northeast Chapter Strengthened by AKBTC’s Strong Regional Relationships

Joining forces also strengthens the PBTF’s Northeast regional chapter, which launched in July 2018.

Both the PBTF and AKBTC enjoy strong, positive relationships in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and throughout the Northeast. Uniting both organizations’ armies of supporters and working together to reach more donors will help exponentially grow existing events in the region.

In addition to the region’s Ride for Kids, Starry Night, and Vs. Cancer events, PBTF supporters will have an opportunity to rally for a cure at the following 2019 events:

  • Think Fit for Kids (March 3, 2019; Chappaqua, N.Y.): Raise funds for childhood brain tumor research while enjoying this family fitness and fun festival at Club Fit, Briarcliff Manor. The 9th annual Think Fit for Kids includes a March Madness Basketball Skills and Knockout Tournament, carnival games, fitness classes, face painting, food, entertainment, and much more. Online registration opens January 2019.
  • Geared Up for Kids (June 2, 2019; Needham, Mass.): The 11th annual Geared Up for Kids, AKBTC’s signature cycling event, offers something for everyone: a 25-mile Master Cycling Ride, 10-mile Family Bike Ride, and 5K Run/Walk. Afterwards, attendees can play games, enjoy entertainment, and sample local vendors’ fare at the Family Fun and Food Festival. Online registration opens early Spring 2019.

The Northeast region’s Board of Trustees will be led by AKBTC volunteer leader Daniel Itzkovitz. Additionally, three volunteer leaders from AKBTC have joined the PBTF’s national Board of Directors, including Jeff Gelfand and co-founders AJ Janower and John Ragnoni.

“As the father of a low-grade glioma survivor, I know how important it is to not just find a cure – but a better cure – for our kids,” says Janower. “Together, we can move the needle further – by raising more money and pooling our resources to invest in high-quality research and better serve survivors and their families.”

About Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

As the world’s leading nonprofit dedicated to children and teens with brain tumors, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s mission is to care for families along their journey, cure all childhood brain tumors, and help survivors and families thrive. Since 1991, we have funded more than $30 million in scientific discovery to increase survivorship, improve quality of life, and ultimately eliminate pediatric brain tumors. We also provide emotional, informational, and logistical support to help families navigate their journey, including the Starfolio Resource Notebook for the newly diagnosed, emergency financial assistance Butterfly Fund, and award-winning Imaginary Friend Society. Our signature Ride for Kids, Starry Night, and Vs. Cancer events rally supporters across the country, and regional chapters provide critical on-the-ground support to families. Visit to learn more.