By, Pam Teel
The Millstone Times January 2019
Kortney Rose Gillette was a vibrant nine-year-old who loved playing with her friends and stuffed animals. She loved school and her classmates, loved playing soccer and basketball, but her favorite thing to do was go to amuse- ment parks and waterslides. She was a typical child enjoying her youth but sadly her life was cut short when doctors discovered Kortney had a brain tumor.
Kortney started to get headaches and her mom noticed one of her eyes was crossed. She took her daughter to an optometrist who decided to do an MRI. Two weeks later the family got the devastating news when they found out that she had an inoperable tumor in her brain. Sadly, four months after her diagnosis, Kortney passed away.
As a way to help channel the grief Kortney’s parents felt after losing their daughter, they decided to do something positive in her memory. They start- ed the Kortney Rose Foundation in hopes to make a difference in the fight to find better treatments and ultimately a cure for pediatric brain tumors.
Established in Oceanport, NJ in 2006, the Kortney Rose Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) charity with the mission of funding research to promote better treatments and cures for brain tumors, the #1 disease killer of children. With a battle cry of “Help Get Brain Tumors off Kids’ Minds,” the foundation is responsible for nearly $2 million donated to pediatric brain/central nervous system tumor research. KRF prioritizes collaborative research, and was an original research partner that helped to establish the Children’s Brain Tumor and Tissue Consortium (CBTTC).
To raise money, the foundation holds many family friendly events. The next one, the Kortney Rose Foundation’s tenth annual “Great Food for a Great Cause” Fundraiser, hosted at Turning Point Restaurants, will be on Saturday, February 23rd and Sunday, February 24th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. All proceeds will go to support pediatric brain tumor research initiatives.
Last year alone, the Turning Points Restaurants raised over $74,000 for The
Kortney Rose Foundation (KRF), setting a new record at its annual “Great
Food for a Great Cause” event. Its nine-year cumulative total has grown to over $314,000 in donations. Restaurant patrons, who dined at any of the 16 Turning Point Restaurant locations and donated to KRF, received Turning Point gift card(s) for free entrees to be used on their next visit. “Year after year our staff and patrons look forward to this fundraiser and their effort and enthusiasm is reflected in the tremendous generosity that is shown at this popular event,” said Kirk Ruoff, who, with his wife, Pam, are owners of Turning Point.
“We are extremely grateful for this outpouring of support and thank the Turning Point Organization as one of KRF’s largest corporate partners for an- nually helping us to raise large amounts for research funding,” said KRF’s Founder and Kortney’s mother, Kristen Gillette.
The Kortney Rose Foundation annually partners with The Turning Point Organization for this event.
12 New Jersey Locations: Brick, Cherry Hill, Hoboken, Holmdel, Little Silver, Long Branch, Manalapan, Marlton, Moorestown, Princeton, Sea Girt and Westfield and 4 Pennsylvania Locations: Blue Bell, Bryn Mawr, North Wales and Warrington.
To raise funds for research and treatment of pediatric brain tumors, the leading cause of death by disease in children. KRF funding supports collabora- tive research through the 16 worldwide research institutions, who work collaboratively through the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC), supports Neuro-Oncology Program growth at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and is a primary funder of the Open DIPG Program, the largest project ever done on the deadliest form of pediatric brain cancer, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Over the next two years the Founda- tion will also be funding a project that is taking the science involved in the first immunotherapy cure for one type of pediatric Leukemia and studying it in brain tumors.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE:
Please visit www.thekortneyrosefoundation.org for information on this event or other upcoming events including Kortney’s Challenge 2 Mile Fun Run/ Walk at Monmouth Park on 8/4/19.
Brain tumors /cancer are devastating diseases. DIPG, the kind of tumor Kortney had is fatal in every instance and has a 9-month average survival rate. This is why the people at the Kortney Rose Foundation are determined and passionate about gathering support for brain cancer research and prevention. To read up more about Kortney’s short life, for event details and ways in which you can donate, please call: 732-222-1491.
Director Kristen Gillette- Kristen@thekortneyrosefoundation.org