Our mission is to find the cure for Childhood Cancer.

The Brian Morden Foundation was created to honor Brian, a courageous 19 year old, who battled Ewing’s Sarcoma for more than two years. He lost the battle on February 15, 2003, but his family, friends, and many others who only knew Brian by reputation have vowed to continue the fight against this horrible disease.

The foundation has three goals:

  • Fund Ewing’s Sarcoma and childhood cancer research.
  • Support patients, family, and staff of pediatric oncology units
  • Provide funding for “Brian Morden Memorial” higher education scholarships


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BMF CARES SPOTLIGHT 
KAYLEE (2009-2021)

Kaylee was a sweet and caring young lady who was famous for her amazing smile. At 8 years old she was diagnosed with medulloblastoma (Brain cancer) on May 8, 2018. Kaylee underwent surgery, 30 radiation treatments and 4 rounds of chemo at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

After treatment, Kaylee started dancing at Altoona Dance Theatre, where she got to live her dream to dance. When Kaylee’s mom Melissa pulled into the dance parking lot Kaylee told her mom, “I can’t believe my dreams are coming true.” Kaylee had such a love for life and a natural dance talent. Kaylee also had amazing friends that supported her through her journey.

Kaylee enjoyed being cancer free for a year but via a routine scan we learned her cancer was back. Kaylee’s care was then moved to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She then endured 3 rounds of intense chemo where she spent many many nights in the hospital. On July 8th, Kaylee received a stem cell transplant. The follow up scans were stable.

In December 2020, Kaylee had her three month scan and it was learned that the cancer was back in her brain. A week later she had a horrible seizure that landed her intubated in the ICU. However, in Kaylee fashion she bounced back. Kaylee was able to enjoy her 11th birthday on December 23rd and Christmas at home.

In January 2021, Kaylee was hospitalized after getting an ommaya reservoir placed for fluid build up. Scans then showed the cancer was progressing quickly. Doctors were worried that no treatment options would stop the cancer since it was progressing so quickly. Kaylee wanted to keep fighting. Kaylee also had to have a shunt placed to help the spinal fluid not to build up in her brain. Kaylee then began chemo treatments via the ommaya. Kaylee’s health quickly deteriorated after that and an emergency scan in late January showed the cancer was taking over her cerebellum and she was sent home on hospice.

Kaylee won her battle with medulloblastoma on February 12, 2021. She was at home surrounded by those who loved her. During her short time on earth, she inspired so many and will never be forgotten. She had a smile that made others smile and she fought to the very last breath.

BMF CARES Spotlight families may suggest an organization or individual researcher to whom they’d like the BMF to send a $1000 donation in honor of their child for the purpose of research or support to children with cancer and their families. Kaylee’s mom requested that $500 be sent to the radiation department at Pittsburgh’s Children Hospital and that the other $500 remain with the Brian Morden Foundation.

WIN A $500 MARTIN’S GIFT CARD!

Drawing Sunday, May 30, 2021 at the Brian Morden Foundation Scholarship Awards Dinner

All proceeds benefit the Brian Morden Foundation and their Scholarship Funds:

Brian Morden Memorial Scholarship
Brian Morden Foundation Survivor Award
Brian Morden Foundation Sibling Scholarship
Erin Dodson Memorial Scholarship

Researchers Report Progress in their Projects

In January of this year, the Brian Morden Foundation presented a $35,000 check to Kelly Bailey, MD, PhD. Dr. Bailey is a physician scientist at the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. This donation was made possible because of the success of “Keira’s Dream … a concert to benefit the Brian Morden Foundation,” which was held in December 2019. Dr. Bailey’s clinical and research focus is on the adolescent bone tumor Ewing sarcoma, the type of cancer that took Brian Morden’s life. The goal of Dr. Bailey’s work is to discover more effective treatment combinations for patients with metastatic or relapsed Ewing sarcoma. Currently, Dr. Bailey is preparing two manuscripts for publication to share her findings and to collaborate with others in the field. For more information, please see this summary.

In addition, The Brian Morden Foundation continues their partnership with Philadelphia based Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) in the fight against childhood cancer.

In September 2019, during National Childhood Cancer Month, the BMF was thrilled to be able to present a check to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to co-fund two projects.  The year 2019 was significant for both Brian Morden Foundation’s co-founder/president Dawn Morden and vice-president Barbara Piper. Their sons (Brian Morden and Tim Piper), both born in 1984, would have been 35 in January and April respectively had their lives not been cut short by cancer. The Brian Morden Foundation Board of Directors chose to honor and remember Brian and Tim in a meaningful way using donor funds that were designated for research. The $35,000 donation was symbolic of the 35th birthdays Brian and Tim should have been celebrating.

Dr. Ferrando and Dr. Mullighan, partners in the “Crazy 8 Initiative” representing Columbia University and St. Jude Children’s Hospital, recently sent a brief project update regarding platform development for target identification in high risk pediatric leukemias.

Dr. Javed Khan, M.D. from the National Institute of Health and a participant in the ALSF’s “Crazy 8 Initiative,” submitted a final report summary about his project “Targeting Fusion-Driven Sarcomas.” Dr. Khan anticipates the publication of information and data regarding this project and plans to continue to the next phase of his work.

The Brian Morden Foundation looks forward to supporting these and other future promising research projects, several of which will be funded due to the generosity of a recent donation made in memory of Fred and Patricia Young. In addition to research, the Young donation enabled the BMF to provide gas cards to help with transportation costs to our local children and families battling childhood cancer. Easter for Eli baskets and filled Easter eggs provided by the Blair County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees were delivered along with the gas cards and Fourth of July Brian Bags.

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Congratulations to our 2020 Brian Morden Foundation Scholarship and Award Winners!

Brian Morden Memorial Scholarships

Raquel Dunio
Makayla Ruggery
Talon   Crowther

Erin Dodson Memorial Scholarship

Margaret Fox

Brian Morden Foundation Survivor Awards

Timothy Boyles
Illana Cecilia
Jonah Zolank

Support BMF Today!

To send your gift by mail, please send your check to:

Brian Morden Foundation
2809 Columbia Drive
Altoona, PA 16602

Thank you for your support!

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