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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cause for Celebration

The Katie Gerstenberger Endowment for Cancer Research was created and is supported by gifts from family and friends of Katie Gerstenberger, who died at the age of 12 after enduring 10 months of grueling chemotherapy and an 18-hour surgery.
We founded this endowment with the aim to change the way cancer is treated, and to prevent other families from enduring the heartache which Katie and we have experienced.

The wonderful news we have to share is the fact that in the eight years since her passing, Katie's endowment has grown to over $310,000, and donates its income to fund immunotherapy research, which is today saving lives, without chemotherapy or surgery!

In 2015, the endowment sent $11,073 of its income to support the research of Dr. Michael Jensen in his lab at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research. The remission rate in their work has been 91%, and these are cases of relapsed cancer (which is more difficult to treat)! It is gratifying to see this work succeed, and gain even more momentum. If you would like to read an update on this work, please follow this link. One of Dr. Jensen's colleagues is Dr. Rebecca Gardner, who was on Katie's care team, and is featured in the article with him.

Thank you, family and friends who have supported, and continue to support, Katie's endowment. Seattle Children's Hospital will be sharing further updates in the coming months, so stay tuned! If you'd like to know how you can help, please contact me at karengberger at gmail dot com.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Beautiful Article in Kitsap Week

In case you didn't see it today, there is a beautiful article about Katie and Hannah Hunt (daughter of our friends Reba and Bill) in the Kitsap Week. It tells the story of their journeys, and the fundraising for research that they have both inspired, as well as details about the upcoming Hannah's Hopeful Hearts event on Friday, April 10th.

Many thanks to Richard Walker for his sensitive and insightful coverage of the subject. Here is a link to his article: An Inspired Effort.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wonderful News: Your Generosity

I just received an update on the balance of the Katie Gerstenberger Endowment for Cancer Research, and it is wonderful news.
The current funds in the endowment (which generates income in support of research at the Jensen Lab at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research in Seattle, led by Dr. Michael Jensen) total

Thank you  
for making this dream a reality! 
Over a quarter of a million dollars, 
dedicated to cancer research. 
What a fabulous legacy for Katie.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Gberger: Hannah's Hopeful Hearts - Join Us April 10th!

Gberger: Hannah's Hopeful Hearts - Join Us April 10th!: Please join us! Mark your calendar, and go to to reserve your tickets! Space is...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Juno Therapeutics in the News (T-Cell Therapy)

Juno Therapeutics has been in the news lately; they "went public" on the NASDAQ exchange recently (you can look up the stock with the symbol JUNO). Juno was also featured in Seattle Business magazine last month, in a fascinating article about the business climate for biotechnology here in Seattle. The article explores how Juno fits into that picture, and is well worth the time it takes to read; you can access it easily by clicking the link HERE.

The day we have prayed for is drawing closer through this research - the day when we stop poisoning cancer patients with chemotherapy and radiation, and strengthen their bodies using their own immune system's T-cells. Katie would be thrilled - somehow, I believe that she IS thrilled.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

10 Lives Saved

You may have seen (on my other blogs, or on the Ben Towne Foundation website and facebook page) that we attended the Ben Towne Foundation's #BTFBenefit2014 last Friday evening. What you may not know (though I hope you do) is that the Katie Gerstenberger Endowment supports the same research that the Ben Towne Foundation funds. The income which accrues on the principal of the endowment goes to the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research.
On Friday evening, we celebrated this news from the Ben Towne Center:
- a clinical trial for the treatment of neuroblastoma has been submitted to the FDA for approval and
- 10 PATIENTS who have been treated with T-cell therapy ARE IN REMISSION!

Ten patients who had experienced relapse, who had no other treatment options - whose hope for a cure was completely exhausted, and were facing death - those ten children are now in remission.

Ten families are not heartbroken today - parents, siblings, extended family and community - have their precious, beloved child with them. Ten families did not have to sign "do not resuscitate" forms, did not have to request hospice care, did not have to plan a memorial service, pick a headstone, face an empty bedroom.


Your donations to the Katie Gerstenberger Endowment support this ground-breaking, life-restoring work. Thank you!

Monday, August 11, 2014

2014 Financial Report

We received the 2014 Annual Financial Report for the Katie Gerstenberger Endowment for Cancer Research. It contains GOOD news.
  • Market Value on 3/31/2013: $192,743
  • Contributions between 4/1/13 and 3/31/14: $27,820
  • Market Value as of 3/31/14: $238,316
  • Distributions to Program (to the Jensen Lab at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research): $8,496
That means that your generous donations and support have generated eight thousand four hundred and ninety-six dollars THIS YEAR for cancer research!

This research has already saved the lives of two cancer patients who had no other treatment options. The research will continue and expand to other types of cancers because of the continuing distributions generated by the principal of this endowment (combined with other sources). Your gifts are giving hope, care and cure to patients and their families - and saving lives.

These breakthroughs in curing cancer come just seven years after Katie's passing, and they are a beautiful legacy for her.
 Thank you for helping to create that legacy!