"Katherine was 12 years old when she developed recurrent headaches and her family sought the counsel of a migraine specialist. An MRI revealed Katherine had a pilocytic astrocytoma, a tumor that is often slow-growing and benign. “We were in shock,” said Christy, Katherine’s mother. “One day she is outside playing and the next she is having brain surgery.”
Timothy Vogel, M.D., pediatric neurosurgeon at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital successfully removed the tumor. Katherine now has a clean bill of health, and is back to her regular routine.
This experience motivated Katherine’s family to take action to help other children and their families impacted by pediatric brain tumors.
Learning that only four percent of government research funding is allocated to pediatric cancer and the importance of philanthropy to develop groundbreaking research, the family partnered with Tackle Kids Cancer to establish Katherine’s Fund, to raise money and support pediatric neuro-oncology research.
“We are incredibly grateful to the Montgoris family for their generous commitment to advancing our pediatric neuro-oncology research program by establishing Katherine’s Fund. This support to our physician investigators will benefit the patients inside our hospital and beyond,” said Judy Aschner, M.D, Physcian-in-Chief Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Clinical Director, Children’s Transformation Services, Hackensack Meridian Health.
“Our gratitude to the team at Hackensack University Medical Center drives our family’s desire to help others,” said William Montgoris, Katherine’s grandfather. “Katherine’s Fund is our way of expressing to young patients and their families that we understand what they’re going through, we care about them, and we are here to help.”