dear friends of ben

Dear Friends of Ben,

When we started Ben Towne Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation in 2010, we asked our family and friends to join us in advancing a promising theory— that it was possible to change the way we treat and cure kids from cancer by harnessing the power of the immune system. It was a leap of faith— for at that time there wasn’t a research center and the science had yet to be tested in humans.

Five years later, because of your belief and hope, the landscape looks amazingly different. The Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research exists, three FDA approved clinical trials are open, and most importantly there are dozens of children in remission! The community of generous BTF supporters, along with the incredible research team at the Ben Towne Center, accelerated what probably would have taken ten years to accomplish and made it happen in five. We are now at the dawn of a new era of research.

As 2014 came to an end, we began to think about what this new landscape meant for our family and BTF moving forward. We reflected on the past five years with this wonderful BTF community, the growth of the Center, the launching of a nationwide initiative, Strong Against Cancer, and the introduction of Juno Therapeutics, which will take this science to the marketplace. As we did, we began to sense that, through your support, we have accomplished our goals—creating a movement and giving our son Ben a legacy that will forever be connected with cures for childhood cancer.

Therefore it is with gratitude and peace that we’re announcing that at the end of 2015 Ben Towne Foundation will wrap up operations and officially pass the fundraising baton to our partner Seattle Children’s and the Strong Against Cancer initiative. They are poised and ready to take this astonishing momentum to the next level with the goal of raising $100 million toward the work and research happening at the Ben Towne Center! You, as a supporter of Ben Towne Foundation, helped set the stage. You have made this next era possible.

We arrive at this decision with many emotions—but mostly overwhelming appreciation for all the ways in which you and your families have come alongside BTF. Your compassion and generosity has truly been remarkable and tangibly evident in the lives of children who are now cancer-free. Furthermore, we are hopeful for the ways in which this movement will continue to grow—bringing cures to all children. Dr. Jensen and his team at the Ben Towne Center remain steadfast and dedicated to this mission. We believe more than ever in the work that is happening there—that it truly will change the way kids are treated and cured in the future.

We will have much to celebrate and reflect on in the months ahead and this certainly isn’t a goodbye. We hope you will join us for our final benefit 2015 on Friday, September 25! It is there that we will publically have the chance to say thank you and cast a vision for what is to come. It will be our biggest and best event yet— for if there is anything we have done well, it’s throw a great party!

In the meantime, you can keep your eyes out for more benefit information arriving in your mailbox soon.

With gratitude,

Jeff and Carin