Mission: “Making Headway Foundation provides care and comfort for children with brain and spinal cord tumors while funding medical research geared to better treatments and a cure.”

For the past 20 years, the Making Headway Foundation has been supporting families of children diagnosed with brain or spinal cord tumors. During this time, we have helped thousands of families through unimaginably difficult times, providing a wide range of holistic programs and services. Read more about our history, as told by President Bill Clinton.

Medical science has made significant, rapid advances in the treatment of pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors. Afflicted children are living longer than ever before. Yet even the best medical team can address only some aspects of the care and support these children and their families need. Making Headway provides supportive care and comfort to families of children diagnosed with a brain or spinal cord tumor, before surgery, during the hospital stay, and after the child returns home. Our programs and services are designed to help children and their families cope with the fear, anxiety, and neurological consequences of hospitalization, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. At the same time, Making Headway is helping to find a cure, funding vital medical research in a field that has long been underfunded.

Once the hospital stay has ended, Making Headway continues its high level of support for families who would otherwise be left to cope for themselves. Our Ongoing Care Program provides a diverse variety of free-of-charge support services, including support groups, individual psychological counseling, and educational advocacy. For parents who have lost children, we offer periodic bereavement groups and assistance with funeral expenses. Want to learn more?

For children being treated at several local hospitals, Making Headway works to allay anxiety and make the hospital stay more comfortable. For example, at the Hassenfeld Children’s Center, Making Headway funds a child life specialist and a nurse clinician, as well as massage and yoga services. We provide arts and crafts projects, games, and nutritional snacks in the playroom. Our annual Family Fun Day, yacht cruise, and New York City theatrical event are free-of-charge for the families that work with us. Want to learn more?

Making Headway’s mission also encompasses the search for better treatments and a cure. We fund basic medical research, clinical trials, training fellowships, a clinical research manager, and a biorepository center that provides brain tumor tissue samples to researchers around the world. In 2017, Making Headway funded numerous novel medical research grants as well as grants that facilitate clinical trials and research around the country. Want to learn more?

As told by President Bill Clinton in his book “Giving”
“Twenty-five years ago Edward and Maya Manley’s daughter, then just fourteen, developed a brain tumor. Surgery and chemotherapy proved effective, and she went on to lead a full life. But their struggle left the Manleys with a desire to do something to help families in the same situation. At first they tried raising funds to support more brain tumor research, but after a few years they decided what they really wanted to do was to create a support network for the families. In September 1996, along with Clint Greenbaum, another parent of a survivor, they founded the Making Headway Foundation, to help children with brain and spinal cord tumors. Starting small and growing to meet the demand for its work, Headway now provides support for children and their families before, during, and after hospital care, including free counseling, support groups, and, when surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy have caused learning disabilities, education remediation services.” – President Bill Clinton.