Making a difference is at the center of The Sontag Foundation. Its mission is personal.
In 1994, Susan Sontag was diagnosed and began treatment for a Grade 3 Astrocytoma, the most common form of Glioma. In the time that followed, the family experienced firsthand the frustration of dealing with a disease that was not well understood by either the medical community or the general public. That year a dream was born: to do something about brain cancer.
A Foundation is Established
Susan is a survivor and in March of 2002, Frederick B. Sontag (Rick) and Susan established the grant programs of The Sontag Foundation. The dream had taken flight.
Today, The Sontag Foundation is one of the largest private funders of brain cancer research in the United States. With some of the best researchers in the field serving on its scientific advisory board, the foundation has awarded, through its annual Distinguished Scientist Award, $23 million dollars (of the $26 million awarded to brain cancer research) to 41 promising scientists who are making a difference in the field.
Along with providing funding for research, the Foundation has included in its mission a commitment to its community in Northeast Florida. Since 2002, it has provided financial and organizational support to 58 nonprofits in NE Florida, and continues to serve the community through its Oral Health Initiative.
A Resource Hub for Patients is Built
And the work doesn’t end there. In late 2014, The Sontag Foundation launched The Brain Tumor Network, Inc. (BTN), a nonprofit organization with the mission to aid adult patients with primary brain tumors who seek personalized information about treatment options-even beyond standard of care.
A Partnership is Born to Honor Joyce
The Foundation expanded its impact in the early days by partnering with Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) in honor of Joyce Kelley Sontag, Rick’s mother, who was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 35 and lived with the crippling disease for 37 years. The partnership continues to provide funding for outstanding scientists who are working to better understand Rheumatoid Arthritis in order to create more effective treatments.