On Monday, September 14, Dr. Mark Souweidane was honored to accept the Pioneer Award in Pediatric Neurosurgery presented by the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation (CBTF) during their Dreams and Promise virtual gala.
This year marks the 18th annual awards benefit for the CBTF. Although the CBTF switched to a virtual platform due to COVID-19 restrictions, the program for their largest annual fundraiser remained entertaining and heartfelt. The event featured Mistress of Ceremonies Bonita J. Hamilton, who stars as Shenzi in Broadway’s The Lion King, in addition to performances by Broadway stars Rebecca Faulkenberry, Arielle Jacobs, Laura Osnes, and John Riddle.
The mission of the CBTF is to improve the treatment, quality of life and the long-term outlook for children and families affected by a brain or spinal cord tumor. Dr. Mark Souweidane has long been involved with the organization, praising the resources, support and educational services that the organization has been providing to families and survivors since it was founded in 1988.
Dr. Jonathan Finley, Souweidane’s mentor in earlier years who he refers to as a dear friend and a strong influence as his career progressed, awarded him the honor by way of a heartfelt video presentation.
Upon receiving the award, Dr. Souweidane spoke from the heart. “I am humbly honored to receive the Pioneering Award in Pediatric Neurosurgery, but I want to take this opportunity to first congratulate the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation on over three decades of exemplary service to children and their families.
“During my residency training at NYU, I was surrounded by a team of neurosurgery mentors and individuals from every specialty who would show me, and demonstrate by example, that it’s okay to get personally involved, hold a hand, and even on occasion, shed a tear. To this day, I committed to continue surrounding myself with a core team who share in this empathetic approach toward children with brain tumors.
“I close with a heartfelt thanks to the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation, and to reassure all that I am only in mid-stride and will continue in this pioneering effort in neurosurgery. I wish you well, and thank you again.”
The Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation followed his acceptance speech with an outstanding video presentation that allows the viewer a closer look inside the personal and professional life of this extraordinary neurosurgeon.