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American Brain Tumor Association to Expand Service Reach with Launch of Nationwide Volunteer Network
Date:7/25/2014

Sue Gessner shared, “I lost my husband to a brain tumor and I don’t want other families to go through what I did trying to find as much information as I could to make informed decisions when it all happens so fast. We need to get this information into patients’ and caregivers’ hands immediately, so they can digest it and understand their options.”

The ABTA offers publications, webinars, personal support services, and a social media platform exclusively for brain tumor patients and caregivers. According to Wilson, one role for volunteers is to help get information about these resources to local healthcare providers so that they can in turn share them with their patients.

Healthcare professionals are eager to provide additional resources to their patients. “When a newly diagnosed brain tumor patient comes into my clinic, I give them the ABTA’s ‘About Brain Tumors’ booklet, turn to the section about their tumor and encourage them to go home and read about it,” says Kelly Nicholas, MD, PhD, director, Neuro-Oncology, University of Chicago Medicine. “The ABTA is an invaluable service to patients and families, and every patient I’ve ever given this information to has always said thank you.”

According to Wilson, the ABTA CommYOUnity™, being introduced at the organization’s annual patient and family conference being held in Chicago, July 25-26, reflects the contemporary realities of nonprofit volunteerism.

“Not every volunteer is a fundraiser. Not every volunteer has the ability or time to organize or host a meeting. We also recognize that volunteer interests and time commitments are often fluid,” Wilson said. “Our goal is to ensure that over time, the ABTA CommYOUnity™ offers activities that advance our shared mission while providing opportunities for meaningful constituent engagement.”

Initially, ABTA CommYOUnity™ activities will be organized under four general areas of need designed to provide a formal structure while allowing f
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