July 08, 2009

Seeing the foundation's impact firsthand

Long before he joined The Rory David Deutsch Foundation’s Board of Directors, Marty Max was familiar with the organization and how it came about. “Like a lot of people who live on the North Shore, or anywhere around Chicago, I knew the story of Rory and of his family’s dedication to do all they could to see that other families didn’t have to go through the same thing,” he says. “I thought of it as a not-for-profit where you really know where the money is going.” Shortly after being named to the Board this past year, Max joined others on a field trip of sorts to Children’s Memorial Hospital. “It was an incredible experience,” he says. “Now I know more about the impact of The Foundation than I ever imagined.”

As president of the Rogers Park Builders Group, Marty has in many ways been on the front lines of the economic downturn. “We are all feeling it, which means it’s not an easy time for charities,” he says. “That’s what made the visit to Children’s Memorial so inspiring to me.”

Under the direction of Stewart Goldman, M.D., the Gus Foundation Chair of Neuro-Oncology; Medical Director, Neuro-Oncology; and Director of Clinical Trial Center at Children’s; researchers at Children’s have relied on funding from The Foundation to investigate new and promising methods to treat children battling brain stem gliomas. “On our visit, Dr. Goldman took us into the research labs and introduced us to some of those researchers,” Marty says. “They talked to us about their progress and showed us the instruments they rely on. It is complex stuff and they explained things about their work with such enthusiasm,” he continues. “They fully believe they are on a path toward an eventual cure, and you can tell they can’t wait to get to work in the morning to take that next step forward.”

As part of his own work, Marty writes a column for a newsletter published by the Rogers Park Builders Group. After getting the beyond-the-bedside look at the work being undertaken at Children’s, Marty wrote a column encouraging his colleagues to make charitable contributions in spite of the economy. “I realized that if it’s a worthy cause like the The Rory David Deutsch Foundation, you have to give what you can to help the progress continue,” he says. “It may not be as much as you were able to give in the past, but whatever you are able to do helps. I’ll never forget that day at Children’s,” says Marty. “For me, it’s a blessing to be part of The Foundation and to be of support to remarkable people like Dr. Goldman.”

Joining Marty Max at Children’s for a tour of the research labs were members of the Deutsch and Samsky families and board members Denise and Mickey Caplan, Susie and Marc Miller, Robin Baba, Beth Conen, David Duckler, Karyn Levy, Steve Serck and Allen Sutker. Learning more about the strives in research inspired the board members to continue their hard work needed to help the researchers obtain their ultimate goal. During the visit, Dr. Goldman told the group that because of the work of The Foundation and its generous contributors, his team will one day be able to tell a family that, yes, we will be able to save your child.

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