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The LBF Community Breaks Records, Determined to Fund Change

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

On Saturday, November 4th, LBF Celebrated the 12th Annual Fall Ball! This year’s theme was Determined to Fund Change. We were joined by over 425 attendees and exceeded our fundraising goals. The funds raised will support the work of doctors and researchers who are working diligently to find safe and effective treatments for children who are battling pediatric brain cancer. For many children battling brain cancer, there is just not enough time, and these funds will help to make progress NOW.

This year’s event featured the LBF HERO Wall, an interactive wall that featured the 19 LBF Heroes who are a constant reminder of why we remain determined to fund research. The event also featured keynote remarks from Dr. Sam Blackman, Co-founder, and Head of R&D at Day One Biopharmaceuticals. His message focused on hope. His speech was incredibly moving, and as he wrapped up he left the crowd with a final thought “With increasing years…we all learn that while hope is essential in caring for children with cancer, hope alone is not sufficient to create change. As both a physician and a scientist, it doesn’t take long to realize that while hope is a critical part of the equation, hope alone doesn’t solve problems. There is another critical variable that is required: determination. In the calculus of medicine development, hope multiplied by determination yields change. It is this equation that fuels the work of those who care for children with cancer, and those who try to discover and create new therapies… It was my belief 5 years ago, and my belief still today, that by having both sides of the equation balanced - hope and determination – plus a little luck and some funding – that you can create change.

Dr. Blackman’s remarks were followed by the presentation of the 2023 Jack Purssord Courage Award. The spirit of this award reflects a happy soul who starts the day with a smile and honors LBF Hero Jack Purssord. This year the award was introduced by Kaitlyn Purssord, Jack’s older sister, who presented the award to LBF Hero, Kasey. We were honored to be joined by Kasey’s parents, Alyssa and Joe Zachmann, who accepted the award on Kasey’s behalf. Alyssa stated in her remarks, “We hope for a day when all future LBF Heroes are living fully into their adult years, just as all of us have had the privilege to do.” Joe Zachmann ended their moving speech with words of gratitude, “You are all part of the solution, and our entire family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts…”

We premiered an impactful video highlighting the critical need for progress to move faster for families experiencing a diagnosis but also for those who experience a relapse and are running out of approved options. This was followed by a record-breaking Raise the Paddle effort to support critical brain cancer research. If you weren’t able to attend this year’s Fall Ball, we encourage you to spend a few minutes watching this video. Although heartbreaking, it shows why we must be Determined to Fund Change for kids like Kasey, Cameron, and so many others. If you feel inclined to join us, you can still contribute here.

We are so grateful for the overwhelming support of our sponsors, attendees, and all who supported the event. LBF remains determined to fund important research that will inform better treatment options and outcomes for children with brain cancer.

The 2023 LBF Fall Ball Video - Determined to Fund Change

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