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Global Giving

Ian's Friends Foundation working to find a cure for pediatric brain tumors

Ian’s Friends Foundation (IFF), a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to funding innovative research that will lead to life-saving treatments and cures for pediatric brain tumors, has expanded to the West Coast. Since inception, Ian’s Friends Foundation’s unwavering mission has been to find a cure for pediatric brain tumors by funding groundbreaking therapies and research. The Atlanta-based organization has always supported labs across the globe, but today has expanded operations by opening a chapter in Los Angeles to further educate donors, doctors and patients on the cause. 

Ian’s Friends Foundation was founded in 2006 by Atlantans Phil and Cheryl Yagoda after their son, Ian, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at the age of two. They started IFF to fill the void of the lack of pediatric research available for their son and the approximately 28,000 children living with brain tumors. In 2018, the Yagoda’s were introduced to Sydney and Joey Meller, when their daughter Charley was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Inspired by the Yagoda’s drive and determination to turn heartbreak into action, the Meller’s quickly came on board to become the leaders of the the Los Angeles chapter of IFF.

“Children with brain tumors do not always have the luxury of time, and there is an immediate need for groundbreaking research so more children will survive this disease. When our daughter was diagnosed, we knew we needed to do more”, said Sydney Meller. “We were in awe of the impact IFF was having on the road to a cure and we wanted to become a part of the fight. Los Angeles is a compassionate, philanthropic city and we are excited by the challenge of igniting additional support to help our must vulnerable.” 

Since 2006, Ian’s Friends Foundation has raised more than $15 million to fund 28 ground-breaking research projects at 19 world-renowned U.S. institutions, including Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, NYU, Cornell, Johns Hopkins University, Emory University, Duke University, and the University of Pittsburgh to name a few. This funding leads to unique partnerships with world-renowned healthcare institutions and novel research that is unlikely to receive funding through other channels. 

“There is nothing worse as a parent than being told your child has a brain tumor and there is no cure. All of the too many parents with children suffering from this disease have formed a beautiful, nation-wide community,” says Phil Yagoda, Founder of IFF. “Without community support, none of our research projects would get off the ground. We look forward to the growth the Los Angeles chapter of IFF will bring as we raise awareness and funding to cure pediatric brain tumors.”

To find out more or to make a donation, visit IansFriendsFoundation.org. 

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