Current Chairs of Research
- Billy Grey Chair of Research
- James F. Petersen Chair of Research
- Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research Chair of Research
- Kayla Wenger Chair of Research
- Seth Harris Feldman Chair of Research
- Sydney Schlobohm Chair of Research
While receiving unsurpassed treatment from the dedicated teams at Duke University Medical Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Billy never lost his passion and spirit for life. Throughout his diagnosis and treatment, that included bi-weekly cross-state journeys for a clinical trial, he continued to attend school at Albany Academy where he excelled in both sports and academics.
The Billy Grey Chair of Research exists to find a cure because the Grey family knows that Billy would want his struggles to have a positive impact on others. Billy's research award is strengthened by the spirit and character in which he lived his life and enriched the lives of those around him.
James F. Petersen Chair of Research
James F. Petersen was diagnosed with an inoperable glioblastoma multiforme and died less than three months later, on September 29, 2006. A native of South Chicago and a former Naval officer, Jim founded a software company, Best! Programs, with his brother. The venture grew into a multi-million dollar international business.
Jim felt no need for vast fortunes and committed the majority of his proceeds to good works. All who knew Jim agreed that he motivated people to strive for excellence and inspired others give back to society. After his success in business, Jim devoted himself to his lifelong passion for photography. His images have been used on websites, by non-profit organizations, and in advertising; they are also displayed in businesses, schools, and private homes.
Jim and his wife, Debbie, moved to Wyoming, where he was inspired by the beauty of the Teton Mountains and surrounding terrain. The funding for this Chair of Research is a result of his life's work.
Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research Chair of Research
Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research (SSBTR) was founded in 2002, shortly after three students from Arizona's Paradise Valley School District were diagnosed with brain tumors. This nonprofit is unique, as it is organized entirely by students.
As an organization, SSBTR's mission is to provide education and leadership development of youth, furnish a platform for them to play a principal role in effecting positive changes in their communities, and to promote awareness of how common brain tumors are as one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among their peers.
The centerpiece of this student run organization is its annual walk-a–thon, which raises funds for brain tumor research. The dedication the students exhibit and the time they put in is rewarded each year as brain tumor survivors come to the walk-a–thon to share their stories.
Kayla Wenger Chair of Research
The first years of Kayla's life were very much like those of her friends. She danced ballet. She played basketball. She practiced soccer. She hula-hooped and jumped rope endlessly. Kayla's life changed when she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor just after her seventh birthday. Within days of diagnosing her ependymoma, doctors removed the tumor. Surgery was followed by radiation, chemotherapy, and more surgery. The treatments appear to have successfully targeted the tumor. But they also left Kayla with significant physical challenges.
In spite of all the hardships she has faced, Kayla perseveres. She exhibits a rare combination of grace and tenacity that surprises many who meet her. Kayla laughs and enjoys making others laugh. She argues with her brother and sister. She memorizes Hannah Montana songs and sings them at the top of her lungs. She somehow dances without being able to walk. And Kayla remains confident that someday—soon—she will run with her friends at recess.
Kayla is a budding entrepreneur, a fierce negotiator, and an enthusiastic fundraiser. To date she has finished the Race for Hope - DC three times to the boisterous applause of her "Kisses4Kayla" teammates. And Kayla plans to keep crossing finish lines for many years to come.
During his 3 ½ year battle with glioblastoma multiforme, Seth fought to stay healthy enough to continue to spend time with his friends and achieve academic and athletic success just like other teens his age. He volunteered for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Jimmy Fund, inspiring those around him.
In December 1988, days before his eighteenth birthday, Seth Feldman lost his courageous battle. Seth's commitment to finding a cure led his parents, Bonnie and the late Sid Feldman, to create the Brain Tumor Society (a legacy organization of the National Brain Tumor Society) in his honor. Seth would be proud to know that his life has helped to improve the survival of so many others diagnosed with brain tumors.
Matched to The Neuro-Oncology Genomics Project
Sydney Schlobohm Chair of Research
Sydney Schlobohm was eight years old when she was diagnosed with a brain stem glioma in March 2005. She passed away six months later, having fought courageously. Sydney loved life, music, art, soccer, purple, family, and friends. Her best friend was her older sister, Cristina.
Sydney touched many people with her magnetic personality. She was compassionate, had a good sense of humor, and loved going to school where she enjoyed helping her classmates. In a short time, she became an accomplished artist with one drawing published in the Washington Post. Sydney's courage inspired many around her to help find a cure for brain tumors.
Sydney is remembered in many ways, including The Sydney Schlobohm Chair of Research. Sydney's spirit lives on through research and will lift us to find a cure for brain tumors so that no one has to suffer again.