Partner Spotlight: National Brain Tumor Society

National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS) is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to the brain tumor community. NBTS drives a multi-faceted approach to influence and fund strategic research, as well as advocate for public policy changes to better support brain tumor patients. Money raised by the generous donations of their supporters has directly funded groundbreaking discoveries, programs, clinical trials and policy initiatives.

What is the mission of the National Brain Tumor Society?
NBTS is fiercely committed to finding better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for people living with a brain tumor today and anyone who will be diagnosed tomorrow. This means effecting change in the system at all levels. We have a rigorous and thoughtful agenda, integrating research and public policy to bridge critical gaps. It’s time to build on progress and transform tomorrow, today.

What is the National Brain Tumor Society’s regional history in the San Francisco Bay Area?
NBTS is the result of a merger, in 2008, of the Brain Tumor Society (Boston, MA) and the National Brain Tumor Foundation (San Francisco, CA). NBTF was founded in the Bay Area in 1981 to raise funds for research and provide a wide variety of patient services.

A small fundraising event on Angel Island, simply called “The Angel Island Adventure,” was started in 1995 by brain tumor patient and local resident Chris Kuchera Hemker. Although Chris succumbed to complications from her own tumor in 1996, her vision and passion to help fund a cure for brain tumors live on, in the form of NBTS’s ongoing events program, including the Bay Area Brain Tumor Walk.

How has the National Brain Tumor Society impacted San Francisco and beyond?
NBTS has supported brain tumor research by directly funding grants itself, as well was collaborating with other funding organizations on various projects, including: NCI, SPORE, AACR, AANS, The Bridge Project, the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative, and the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

NBTS has also awarded more than $35 million across more than 250 grants, including a number to researchers and doctors at the University of California, San Francisco. To-date, research funded by the NBTS has contributed to the establishment of many of what are now the top adult and pediatric brain tumor research labs across the country. Our research initiatives, have led to a number of clinical trials, as well as the overall knowledge-base of the brain tumor field today.

How can someone get involved with the National Brain Tumor Society?
There are a number of ways someone can get involved with NBTS. Bay Area residents can register for the Bay Area Brain Tumor Walk on May 13, 2017 at Crissy Field. We are also accepting applications to join our Pacific West Regional Board and to volunteer on our Bay Area Brain Tumor Walk Planning Committee. You can become an NBTS Advocate and participate in our Public Policy Advocacy program. Reach out to local staff member, Jenifer Prentiss, Regional Director of Development, Pacific West at to learn more.