Hello DSA Winners! 

Some of you we get to see at least once a year.  Others not too frequently.  But even if you aren’t in routine contact with us, you’re still part of our family.  So as members of the family we want you to be brought up to speed on what we are doing reacting to the coronavirus pandemic.

First, let me say that we are geared to weather this storm – financially and organizationally.  So we don’t intend to stray from the course we set out 17 years ago when we formed The Sontag Foundation.  That means that all our programs and people are being kept intact and operational.  For safety’s sake we have moved all our office staff to work from their homes.  And luckily we have invested heavily in technology over the years, so we can perform almost everything we were doing before the virus hit – with just a little more cumbersome routines.  And we intend to operate this way until it is safe for our staff to return.

That means for The Sontag Foundation our DSA grant process will continue without any major changes – no cutbacks or process changes.  In fact, we just received a new batch of DSA grant applications and are diligently reviewing them in order to make new awards just as we have in the past.  We intend to announce the award winners in the fall just as we always have.  I know this is a bit of different news from what you’ve been getting with research programs halted, organizational changes and the like.  But we think it is important for us to remain steadfast in our work in order to be able to support the brain tumor research community properly when this virus problem subsides.

Our sister organization, Brain Tumor Network, is also steaming full speed ahead.  We added two new nurse navigators just before the full force of the virus hit.  We have integrated them into our operation and now have a staff of 14 highly skilled people at BTN.  If you want to check us out, visit www.braintumornetwork.org.  We are still up and running with all cylinders firing and have already helped over 1000 patients find their way to clinical trials, second opinions and the like.  The coronavirus has changed some of the services we are providing, but we are still helping patients who are trying to cope with brain tumors while the medical community is struggling to keep up with the effects of the virus.  Like The Sontag Foundation we intend for BTN to be 100% back on track when we finally see the scourge of COVID-19 under control.

Our lives will likely be changed forever by this virus.  But in our case we intend to come out of this stronger and more dedicated to serving the brain tumor community.  We hope to see all of you at our scientific retreat next year to help celebrate life and the importance of science in the lives of us all.

Stay healthy.  All the best.

Rick Sontag, President