$10,000 Grant Established to Assist Proton Therapy Patients

$10,000 Grant Established to Assist Proton Therapy Patients

The Michael Matters Foundation recently announced the formation of its second Michael Matters Grant through a $10,000.00 donation to Cadence Health Foundation. Cadence Health is part of Northwestern Medicine and Central DuPage Hospital.  In particular, the Michael Matters Grant will be used to support brain cancer patients at Northwestern Medicine’s Chicago Proton Center (Warrenville, Illinois), who use proton therapy to treat their tumors.

The Northwestern Medicine Chicago Proton Center is the first and only center in Illinois to offer proton therapy, which targets tumors more precisely to allow higher doses to be deposited directly in the tumor. That means less damage to healthy tissue and fewer side effects, which is especially important for targeting tumors located in the brain, for patients who have received previous radiation therapy and for reducing potential damage in growing children.  Proton therapy destroys cancer cells by preventing them from dividing and growing.  The difference between proton therapy and standard radiation is that while protons deposit much of their energy, or dose, directly in the tumor and then stop, conventional radiation continues to deposit the dose beyond the tumor.  The unique behavior of protons allows tumors to receive more targeted doses, which can be more effective, while reducing damage of the healthy tissues that surround the tumor.

“In light of the fact that the Proton Therapy Center is only one of a dozen or so in America, and the only one in Illinois, The Michael Matters Foundation wanted to help alleviate some of the incredible financial burden their brain tumor patients’ face,” said Mary Schostok, Michael Matters Founder and Board Member.

Similar to The Michael Matters Grant at Evanston NorthShore Hospital’s Kellogg Cancer Center, these funds will be available to qualifying patients with cancerous brain tumors who are in desperate need of financial assistance.  This includes a wide range of needs from medications to treatment transportation, accessibility ramps to childcare help, groceries to technology—whatever is needed to help maintain a patient’s quality of life during their treatment.

A portion of The Michael Matters Grant with Northwestern Medicine’s Chicago Proton Center is due to the generosity of The Nathan Cummings Foundation, who awarded The Michael Matters Foundation with $5,000.00 in support of our mission in 2014.  The Nathan Cummings Foundation is based out of New York City and promotes humane health care; and fosters arts and culture that enriches communities.