stories: susie & brian


When neuroblastoma hit a family so close to ours, I just could not believe the devastation it caused. As this disease took the life of Ben Towne it made me want to help in any way I could so that others would not have to go through what Carin, Jeff and their families were put through. Shortly after Ben’s death, neuroblastoma struck my own family as my cousin’s son Carter was diagnosed. I couldn’t believe that this disease I had never even heard of was hitting so close to home, repeatedly. It is hard to know what exactly you can do to help those that have been through or are going through this, and I trust that Ben Towne foundation is the right place to focus my efforts in order to fight this disease and offer support.

As we reached the final stages of planning our recent wedding we decided the best way to honor our guests that had traveled to Sun Valley, to be with us and celebrate, was to make a donation to the foundation in their names. On January 15, 2011, in memory of Ben Towne and Carter Kronmal, we were able to make a donation to Ben Towne Foundation which was also matched by Google. Each guest received a card at their place setting that told them a donation had been made in their honor. We were lucky enough to have Carter’s parents, Ben’s Grandparents and Ben’s Aunt in attendance at the wedding. They did not know about the donation prior and it was nice to see the appreciation and emotion from all of them. They are so special to us, and it was nice to be able to add this touch to an already magical evening. Thank you to Bruce and Gail Richards for your generous support of this idea.

There has been tremendous support for the foundation throughout the Seattle area. The word has spread about the different ways people have gotten involved. I am not in the medical field and know that I will not be able to solve this problem without the help of others. If our donation can help those that do have the knowledge to work towards a cure, then I want to continue to think of ways to raise money and donate. It was a destination wedding and our guests had done so much to be with us. I wanted to give back, but in a way that is meaningful. Nothing against personalized M&Ms, but it just wasn’t fitting the bill.

By raising awareness at large events like this, my hope is that those that learn of the foundation will want to continue to provide support.


Thank you Susie and Brian for honoring Carter and Ben this way.  For using your amazing celebration as a time to think of others.  We are grateful for your support and wish you much joy in your future together.  Congratulations!