Who We Are / Where the Money Goes

Over $6 Million Awarded to Research 

Our grants have produced breakthrough research with one ultimate goal in mind --to put an end to childhood brain cancer. Since 2010, the nearly $2 million in seed grants generated by our donors and supporters has resulted in $6.12 million in follow-on funding, as well as furthered ground-breaking research into:

  • Techniques for identifying the molecular make up of gliomas
  • Methods with nanotechnology that can deliver more targeted and less toxic dosages of chemotherapy
  • Examinations of the genetic mechanisms that cause high grade gliomas or diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG)

Our grant recipients will tell you that our grants aren’t easy to acquire. Each had to compete with many other leading researchers when presenting to our Medical Advisory Board why their research offers the greatest promise for finding a cure for childhood glioma brain tumors. Our Board is comprised of our nation’s leaders in the treatment of children’s gliomas, the deadliest type of brain tumor.

Each of our grants is named in honor and memory of a child who battled this deadly disease. We recently  awarded the $250,000 Jax Stone Memorial Grant to Joshua Rubin, M.D. Ph.D. at Washington University. To learn more about Jax’s story, watch here.

If you would like to help us answer Maria’s prayers and help find a cure for childhood brain cancer, please consider donating to the movement.

More on our grantmaking

Case Western

In 2017, we awarded the $100,000 Josh Metzger Memorial Fox Trot Grant jointly to The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and The Cleveland Clinic researchers Dr. Violette Recinos and Stephen Dombrowski, Ph.D. They are studying the genetic mechanisms involved in pediatric high-grade brain tumors. Their findings could uncover new therapeutics designed to alter how genes operate within tumors. Read more here. Watch Josh’s story here.


In 2017, we awarded the $50,000 Karin McCloskey Memorial grant to Dr. Mark Kieran, Dana Farber Cancer Institute. It was an add-on grant to the $200,000 grant we awarded to him in 2012 that helped develop biopsy techniques that identify the molecular make up of gliomas. We have since committed an additional $200,000 grant to a clinical drug trial. Read more about Dr. Kieran here and watch here.

CWRU School of Medicine

In 2014, we awarded the $250,000 Melana Matson Grant to James P. Basilion, Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University. He is leading a team researching how nanotechnology can deliver more targeted and less toxic chemotherapy. Our grant was the first major funding to explore the application of nanotechnology with children. The outcomes of this research have attracted a five-year, $2.82 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Learn more here and read Melana’s story here.


In 2010, our first grant ever, $100,000, was awarded to Bingcheng Wang, Ph.D., MetroHealth Medical Center. Our funds produced data that begins to explain the spread of cancers and examines the family of proteins that can stop the growth of tumor cells. This preliminary data has attracted $3.3 million from National Cancer Institute for follow-on research into tumor progression. Read more here.