American Brain Tumor Association Names 2013 Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Award Recipient

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Louis and Phyllis Jacobs Honored for Commitment to Brain Tumor Patients and the ABTA

The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) has named Louis and Phyllis Jacobs as the recipients of the 2013 Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Award. For the past 14 years, the Jacobs have supported brain tumor patients and families in their community, as well as supported the ABTA’s brain tumor research funding initiatives.

The Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Award is given annually to an individual, organization or group that through philanthropy, advocacy, discovery or patient care, has had a major impact on the ability of the American Brain Tumor Association to achieve its mission. The award was established in 2010 in honor of the Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Memorial Foundation, which to date has raised $1.4 million for the American Brain Tumor Association.

The Jacobs’ son, Matthew, was diagnosed with an oligoastrocytoma in 1987 when he was 11 years old. He died 13 years later, at the age of 24. Twice a year, Phyllis Jacobs lectures at Wichita State University, where she is a director of nursing, on the topic of starting and sustaining support groups for people with cancer. Together, the Jacobs have been actively engaged with the local brain tumor community through their own support group for the past 14 years.

While the Jacobs realize the importance of patient support, they also recognize the impact of research funding. In 2000, gifted funds from the Jacobs supported an internationally-attended Oligodendroglioma Roundtable. The Jacobs were also among the first supporters of the ABTA’s Discovery Grant program. Their grant funded research into oligodendroglioma cells and generated findings that may link oligodendrogliomas and astrocytomas to a new gene mutation. These findings resulted in the researcher being awarded funding of a five-year research project through the National Cancer Institute.

“Louis and Phyllis Jacobs exemplify every aspect of the Joel A. Gingras, Jr. Award,” said ABTA President and CEO Elizabeth M. Wilson. Wilson will announce the award at the JAG Gala, taking place at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia on Saturday, March 23. “From patient and family support to funding research,” continued Wilson, “the Jacobs’ scope of service—both to the ABTA and to those living with brain tumors—is truly the embodiment of our mission and this award.”

The award will be presented to the Jacobs at the ABTA’s annual meeting dinner, which will be held on Friday, July 26 in Chicago.

About the American Brain Tumor Association
Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was the first and is now the only national nonprofit brain tumor organization dedicated to providing both support services to brain tumor patients and their families, and the funding of brain tumor research. For more information, visit
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