In February and March, generous, much-needed donations came flooding into the Children’s Brain Tumor Project (CBTP) in response to our “Decade of Hope” campaign in memory of Elizabeth (Liz) Minter. More than 250 people donated to the campaign, raising approximately $150,000 in support of the CBTP lab at Weill Cornell Medicine. The campaign made possible the purchase of a highly advanced microscope that will allow researchers to study tumor tissue at the molecular level. In this tenuous economic climate, the funding also ensured that the team can maintain the brain power in the lab that they worked so hard to build.
On February 11, 2021, Liz should have been celebrating her 30th birthday. Instead, her friends and family celebrated her memory and reflected on the progress made over the ten years since she founded Elizabeth’s Hope to uncover cures for pediatric brain tumors like gliomatosis cerebri – the rare cancer that claimed her life in 2012. Ten years ago, it was Elizabeth’s passion and dedication to supporting the research of her brilliant neurosurgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield, that laid the cornerstone for developing a dedicated laboratory at Weill Cornell Medicine called the Children’s Brain Tumor Project.
“It is an everlasting sorrow that Elizabeth is not here to celebrate her 30th birthday and to see what she created,” said her parents, Mike and Emmie Minter, in a letter to family and friends. “Sadly, her job is not done. Brain cancer is still the most fatal cancer in children… LET’S RAISE FUNDS to help get closer to Liz’s goal of better treatment options for young victims of brain cancer.”
As we celebrate ten years of Elizabeth’s Hope, the CBTP lab is now acknowledged as a global leader in pediatric brain cancer research. The fundraising campaign in memory of Liz brought a sigh of relief to the dedicated neuroscientists at the CBTP lab, who feared the economic impact of COVID-19 would slow the scientific progress being made. Time is of the essence for children with brain tumors, and they can’t afford a slow-down.
The Minter family, along with the entire team at the Children’s Brain Tumor Project at Weill Cornell Medicine, is overwhelmed with gratitude for those who so generously supported the Decade of Hope fundraising campaign.
“Despite the pain that will never go away for those who loved her, I am simply thankful that I met Elizabeth, that I listened to her, and that she allowed me and us to be a part of her world long enough to inspire us for a lifetime.” said Dr. Greenfield.