Art of the Brain, Celebrating Art & Patients Undefeated By Brain Cancer, Introduces First-of-its Kind Youth Partnership October 2, UCLA

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On Saturday, October 2 from 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall in Los Angeles, Art of the Brain, an unprecedented organization of “Brain Buddies,” brain cancer patients and families who raise public awareness about this deadly disease, spotlight the strength and courage of brain cancer patients, and help raise money for brain cancer research in order to find a cure, will enjoy its 11th anniversary. Hundreds of friends will gather to celebrate, and to recognize the efforts of two teens: Mac Balch, 16, and Jason Lopata, 15. Mac and Jason, who both lost family members to brain cancer, are the Co-Leaders of Art of the Brain’s unprecedented Youth Partnership -- a new youth-led arm of the organization that is unique nationwide in that it will be entirely managed by young people, including conceiving of events to raise funds for brain cancer research, managing and running the events, and serving as a support network for other young people facing brain cancer in their families.

"Why not involve the youth to bring in a new style and involve their generation? We need to spread the word out so that we can continue to build on our team and move forward towards our future -- that is OUR responsibility." Judi Kaufman, Founder, AOB

On Saturday, October 2 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM at UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall, Art of the Brain (AOB), an unprecedented organization of “Brain Buddies,” brain cancer patients and families who celebrate art and patients undefeated by brain cancer, will enjoy its 11th anniversary with hundreds of friends, food, and a special award to recognize two teens: Mac Balch, 16 and Jason Lopata, 15. Mac and Jason, who both lost family members to brain cancer, are the Co-Leaders of Art of the Brain’s unprecedented Youth Partnership -- a new youth-led arm of the organization that is unique nationwide in that it will be entirely managed by young people, including conceiving of events to raise funds for brain cancer research, managing and running the events, and serving as a support network for other young people facing brain cancer in their families.

Art of the Brain was founded by Judi Kaufman, a highly successful entrepreneur, community activist and poet after she was diagnosed with her first brain cancer tumor in 1997. Based on Kaufman’s vision, Art of the Brain, which has now touched thousands of lives and raised over $5 million for brain cancer research, focuses on two areas: A network of Brain Buddies, who help to support individuals and families struggling with brain cancer on a one-to-one basis, and also volunteer their time to make the annual Art of the Brain gala a success; and on the life-saving quality of creative pursuits in helping brain cancer patients to survive and to restore their self-esteem in the face of debilitating brain cancer side effects. Art of the Brain creates hope for brain cancer patients via teaching them that the creative process, for artists and non-artists alike, can be a path to navigate life and create a new destiny. While brain cancer may effect certain functions and abilities, it does not sap brain cancer survivors of their creativity.

“Why not involve the youth to bring in a new style and involve their generation? We need to spread the word out so that we can continue to build on our team and move forward towards our future -- that is OUR responsibility,” said Kaufman on the new initiative.

Since youth are the focus of this year’s gala, the art of 13-year old brain cancer survivor Isabel Neidorf will be highlighted at the event and the entertainment for the evening will be provided by the A Capella Choir of John Burroughs High School in Burbank. The school’s music program, which includes several competing choirs, shot to fame when one of the choirs performed on The Oprah Winfrey Show earlier this year.

Art of the Brain raises public awareness about this deadly disease, spotlights the strength and courage of brain cancer patients, and helps raise money for brain cancer research in order to find a cure. Through the years, Art of the Brain has served as a tool for Kaufman, currently living with her third brain tumor, and the other members of the Brain Buddies network to overcome their own challenges while helping others, to help find a cure, and to feel whole again. The new Youth Partnership continues these goals with a special emphasis on empowering young people to meet and overcome the challenges of brain cancer.
http://www.artofthebrain.org.

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Rachel Schwartz
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