Catherine and Ben Ivy were married only five years before cancer uprooted their entire world.
Ben's diagnosis ignited a fire within the couple. Their passion for finding a cure and better quality of life for glioblastoma patients quickly developed into a mission for the Ivy Foundation, the nonprofit they had created when they got married.
"Our immediate goal is to double the life expectancy of glioblastoma patients in the next seven years," says Catherine. "If we can get people living longer, we can study the disease more, which will hopefully open the door to finding a cure."
Ben died four months after his diagnosis. Catherine continues his fight through the Ivy Foundation, investing more than $60 million in brain cancer research across the country over the past 10 years. The foundation's latest gift provided $2 million for research led by Amy Heimberger, M.D., associate professor, Neurosurgery.
"Dr. Heimberger is so innovative and efficient, and it's all about the patient for her," says Catherine. "I'm grateful for the entire staff at MD Anderson. Our projects don't always fit the mold but we like to think creatively and see if we can make more progress."
Catherine is confident in the work that's being done and hopes that one day the foundation's vision will become a reality.
"There's nothing I want more in this world than a cure," says Catherine. "You never know when that day is going to come - that big jump in progress - but it's going to come."