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Making Headway Foundation Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Brain Disorders Research, Cancer, Cancer Research, Health, Pediatrics Research

Mission: Making Headway Foundation provides care, comfort and a cure for children with brain and spinal cord tumors while funding medical research geared toward better treatments and a cure.”

Results: Care: At the New York University Langone Medical Center we make the hospital stay more comfortable by enhancing the excellent medical care provided by the doctors, nurses and staff. At the Hassenfeld Children's Cancer Center, the day hospital where children come for treatments, Making Headway provides funding for a psychologist, massage and yoga services and nutritional snacks in the playroom. Comfort: Once the hospital stay has ended, and families are left to cope by themselves, trying to return to a more “normal" life, Making Headway continues its high level of support. Our Ongoing Care Program provides a diverse variety of free-of-charge support services, including support groups, individual psychological counseling and educational advocacy. For parents who have lost children, periodic bereavement groups and assistance with funeral expenses are offered. Family Fun Day, a yacht cruise and a New York City show are free of charge to the families. Cure: Making Headway's mission also encompasses the search for better treatments and a cure. We fund basic medical research, a Clinical Trials Manager to oversee all ongoing and new trials, training fellowships and a Biorepository Center that provides brain tumor tissue samples to researchers around the world.

Target demographics: Children with Pediatric Brain or Spinal Cord Tumor

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1000+ Children diagnosed with cancer

Geographic areas served: NY, NJ, CT

Programs: Support services for during treatment, ongoing care post treatment and funding for medical research.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3 justamom17

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was 7 in 1998. She is now 23 and recently graduated college. I don't know how we would have made this journey without the help and support of the Making Headway Foundation. They give you hope and vision for better days, and when days are bleak they are there to hold your hand and help you bear that weight. They also support research looking to the future for better treatments and cures.

Comments ( 1 )

Catherine Lepone Thank you so much. Your family re-pays us in many ways and we are grateful to have you as part of the Foundation.

1 trudyp10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough of how wonderful Making Headway Foundation has been . In 2004 when my son first became ill with Brain Tumor and spinal cord Cancer. My Life was changed in an instant and forever . Alone in NYC Dr Allen said to me you have to meet 2 people Maya and Edward from Making Headway Foundation. There own personal illness in there family . Is what made Making Headway what it is today there own personal triumph to save other children some day from never being struck by this terrible disease.This was a start of a Life Long friendship There Patients kindness and Support got me through the worst of times. they had Support programs for patient and Parents .Making Headway Foundation is always in our Hearts

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about this extraordinary couple Maya & Edward who started Making Headway Foundation through there own person issues with there daughter who had a Brain Tumor was inspired to help others with the same illness .They have been a great source of Inspiration and strength to my Family. In 2004 when my son was diagnosed with a Cancer Brain Tumor it changed my life forever. What also changed my life was when Dr Allen walked into the Hospital room and said I want you to meet someone .10 years later Making Headway is in my Heart & an Inspiration my Friend a shoulder to lean on Therapeutic for you and your child .The resources they offer are wonderful when you have trouble elsewhere. As they try to strive to eliminate this terrible decease I Thank God for them and support Them.

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Catherine Lepone 06/18/2014

Your words inspire us to work even harder. Thank you.

1 Jack42

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My greatest privilege is working with parents and siblings in those cases when the child does not survive the impact of a brain tumor. Most people do not understand that tumors in children , benign or malignant, are catastrophic for the development of sibling's, as well as for the cohesive marriage of the parents. The guilt, anger and depression, as well as issues of childhood neglect, can be carried by siblings for the rest of their lives if not treated quickly and appropriately. This dramatically effects their chances of reaching their full human potential. Making Headway is the finest and the only foundation I know that seriously treats the spreading impact of this disease throughout the whole family. Without Making Headway, many more parent marriages would end in divorce, and many more siblings would fail to develop a normal, healthy response to the life experience. Making Headway does critically needed work at every level.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My concern is for all the siblings of our patients at Making Headway. By giving them equal love, respect and attention, they are growing up with far less anger, depression, and despair. Making Headway is the only dedicated foundation that treats the WHOLE FAMILY so that each survives and thrives to their highest potential. The medical research and care for kids with brain tumors at NYU is recognized around the world, but it takes a village like MH to recover the patient and family together. It's true that whatever happens, life will never be the same, but it's also true that the staff and volunteers at MH are happily determined to make life meaningful and beautiful again. As a bereavement counselor, I have never seen a team of professionals like these anywhere else.
10,000 stars for Maya and Edward Manley, and 10'000 more for our kids at Making Headway.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Camp friends encouraged us to contact Making Headway Foundation and we are so glad we did! My son was given the opportunity to cruise around the Statue of Liberty while socializing with peers and making new friends. His journey has taken us on a rocky road but Making Headway provided one of those remarkable rest areas along this path that helps puts everything else into perspective. We are so thankful.

Alexandra11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My brother was diagnosed with brain cancer 11 years ago and The Making Headway Foundation has been there to support us through the good times and bad. Since his passing my family and I have been running a golf outing where all the proceeds go to Making Headway. The Making Headway Foundation does a great job lifting the spirits of those families going through such difficult times. Pediatric cancer does not only affect the child suffering, but affects the entire family, and The Making Headway Foundation helped me personally through my brothers loss. I am forever grateful for the impact this foundation has in my life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Making Headway funds the most wonderful programs at the Hassenfeld Center, making my son's visits to his oncologist a treat to look forward to rather a chore to endure. Making Headway, the people who run it and the programs it funds are very warm, friendly and supportive in a time of great need for pediatric cancer patients and their families.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough about Making Headway. They far exceed all expectations!

Comments ( 1 )

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Catherine Lepone 06/18/2014

Your volunteer time makes it easy for us to do our work. Thank you for being so committed to our foundation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found this charity after having neurosurgery this past August, I was looking for a way to give back to kids just like me. When I reached out to making headway they helped me figure out an easy way to fundraise and feel like everything I went through was for a reason! I ended up doing a spinning fundraiser raising over 15,000 dollars, and everyone that helped me, especially Catherine Lepone, were beyond kind and supportive! It's an amazing charity doing very important work!

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Catherine Lepone 06/17/2014

Thank you! We are so glad you are part of our "family".

Volunteer

Rating: 5

NYU is awesome and Making Headway is there to assist in the long term follow up care for the children and their families when returning to normal life! Our daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 18 months. She had surgery at NYU and we were lucky enough to get into Mass General for proton radiation. Our surgeon was top notch and kind and our oncologist at NYU is brilliant with a huge heart as well! He was willing to recommend that we go to Mass General for treatment even though NYU would miss out on the fees for treatment. He did what was best for our daughter NOT for NYU and the hospital's financial gains. The care did NOT end here!!! As our daughter got older she started to suffer from SEVERE separation anxiety! The word severe is an understatement!!! Kindergarten was a nightmare as our teacher did NOT have a heart and could not understand that our daughter needed just a little extra hand holding because of her anxiety. I had to drive her to school every day and a different teacher outside the school (on bus duty) had to take her out of my arms and bring her into school! As the years went by her anxiety did not go away and finally in her second grade school year my sister had to drive us to school. I had to carry her into school. I was beside myself! Finally I remembered that Making Headway had a psychologist and social worker on staff available for the families without a charge. I had already tried other doctors that did NOT help us and were very expensive. Well, the psychologist SAVED us!!!! She has counseled me for the past three years and I have to say that I could NOT have supported my daughter and made her as strong, self sufficient and independent as she is today (she is 10 years old) if I did not have this help!! The doctor always answers my emails and is available to set up a phone conference when I need a little help! She is a professional with fantastic experience and allows me to figure out what I think my daughter needs...She has helped me to be a SUPER STRONG mother! She has taught me how to listen to my daughter AND hear what she is saying.. I have become so strong so in turn I have been able to help my daughter! Her anxiety is in check (and because of the doctors guidance, we did not have to put her on ANY medication). I like to say, to date, she is doing great!!! The directors of Making Headway are super kind people and they have put together a team that is PRICELESS!!! I am SO thankful!

Comments ( 1 )

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Catherine Lepone 07/11/2013

Thank you so much for sharing your story.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with several non profit organizations over the years and I was introduced to Making Headway a couple years ago after a friend passed away. The work that they do is priceless. Their enthusiasm and sincerity for what they are doing is evident. Its wonderful to see an organization put so much time and energy into making the children comfortable and providing resources to their parents, but to know that they are also working diligently to find a cure shows the dedication that they have their cause. I hope to have the opportunity to work with Making Headway Foundation for many, many more years to come!

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Catherine Lepone 07/11/2013

Thanks, Megan!

Patrick30

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family has been involved for 10'years donating all proceeds from the annual Nicky Docu Memorial Golf outing to this wonderful organization that serves so many and supports research to help conquer this horrible disease

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Catherine Lepone 07/11/2013

Your family is such an integral part of what we do. Thank you, Patrick.

Peggy28

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Making Headway is a top notch organization run by truly caring professionals. What they are able to provide to families with children with brain tumors and related cancers is remarkable. It is a unique model of care and support for families and patients. The funding they provide for research goes to the top doctors in the field that are making incredible strides. Hopefully in the near future, this organization will be more widely recognized and supported by corporations who value their charitable donations going to a worthy cause and a respectable foundation.

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Catherine Lepone 07/11/2013

Volunteers are what make it so special. Thanks to all of you!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Making Headway is an inspirational organization! They're non-stop efforts to help children (and their families) afflicted with brain and spinal cord tumors have filled with me such admiration. I have never seen such a wonderful group of caring and committed people. They have inspired me to serve as a volunteer and have opened my eyes to how much a we can do to help others.

Edward and Maya Manley have been instrumental in Making Headway's success. I am in awe of their selfless service.

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Catherine Lepone 07/11/2013

Thank you for being a valued volunteer, Jan.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked at NYU for several years with Making Headway. I have volunteered for several of their events and have seen first hand what they do for patients and families at NYU. Besides giving financial suppot they give emotional support in ways I have never seen with other organizations. Maya one of the founders, volunteers at NYU with patients and I have seen patients cry when they come in and realize Maya is not there that day. She is loving and caring and makes everyone feel like they are the most important person in the world. We call her the Mother Theresa of Hassenfeld. The foundation pays for any needs patients have from funerals to food to psychological counseling and beareavement support just to name a few. I have volunteered for an annual event Maya and Edward have at their house for 400 patients and families with tons of food, activities, petting zoos, pony rides and everything a child and adult would love. It is truly amazing and the familes love it! Not many people would open up their own home for something like this. They are the most selfless giving people I have ever met and I strive to be like them.

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Catherine Lepone 07/11/2013

Our volunteers are crucial to our success. Thank you!

Dariusz U.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi,my name is Dariusz Uczkowski. I interviewed Ed and Maya a couple years ago in order to tell the story about the beginning of making headway. They are real people filled with warmth, heart and a true deep understanding for others. If you are interested here is the link. http://vimeo.com/12217396

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Catherine Lepone 07/11/2013

We are so grateful for your sharing that.

Audrey M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is near and dear to my heart as my own sister had a brain tumor over 30 years ago. They provide the services and support that were so clearly lacking when my own family went through this experience. Making Headway takes care of the entire family--patient, parents and siblings--providing help at every stage. They replace fear and isolation with education and support from the moment of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Making Headway helped us through the most difficult time in our life, when our daughter Elizabeth was sick with a brain tumor. They helped make her happy and comfortable in the hospital where she already was getting the best medical care. They had parties and clowns, and wonderful Maya to share candy with everyone in the hopital. They worked together with us trying to make everything easier for the family and patient. Since Elizabeth went to heaven in 1997 they have continued to help us. They had counseling groups and family days at their beautiful house. To help others we began the Little Bit of a Walk in memory of our Elizabeth. All of the money raised from the walk are put towards research because it is so important to us. This year will be our 15th annual walk. Making Headway organization is always helping us with our walk before, the day of, and after. We could not do it without them.

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Catherine Lepone 11/09/2012

We are honored to have you in our "family". Thank you for all you have done to give back to Making Headway Foundation.