Founded in 2008, the Rhode Island Brain and Spine Tumor Foundation’s (RIBSTF) mission is to build awareness among the public and healthcare communities about brain and spine tumors; assist patients, their loved ones and caregivers with information and support; and develop more resources for patient care and research. Dr. Prakash Sampath, a highly respected neurosurgeon, established RIBSTF because he was frustrated by the lack of resources available for patients newly diagnosed with brain or spine tumors. RIBSTF, a non-profit organization, is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of physicians, clinicians, family members and patients who volunteer their time and resources.
Patients who are diagnosed with a brain or spine tumor suffer. They have surgery, post-surgical treatment, rehab care and then, perhaps more surgery. As the patient suffers, so does his or her family. RIBSTF offers monthly support sessions hosted by clinical professionals that provide patients, their caregivers, and their loved ones with the information and support they need as they face difficult challenges.
RIBSTF offers educational workshops and seminars for physicians and others in the medical community. These seminars provide much needed information to help doctors make an appropriate diagnosis and advise patients on their best course of treatment. As new treatment options are recognized, they are passed on to physicians through these workshops and seminars.
Each year, thousands of people are diagnosed with brain and spine tumors. Rhode Island has one of the highest brain cancer diagnosis rates in the country and over 100 cases of the deadly brain tumor, glioblastoma, are found every year. Spine tumor rates are even higher. These po
tentially devastating tumors afflict relatively few people compared to other medical conditions and attract fewer resources to fight them. As a result, as patients face the struggle of their lives, many of their needs go unanswered. The Rhode Island Brain and Spine Tumor Foundation is making a difference.
In its short history, RIBSTF is the “go to” resource for patients and physicians. Patients are referred to RIBSTF by their physicians from all Rhode Island hospitals and through “word of mouth”. Patients or their loved ones are able to access needed information through the website or by calling the phone line. They are invited to attend monthly support groups currently held in Providence and are invited to special educational events such as the recently held, “Ask the Experts” when physicians and other clinicians volunteered their Saturday mornings to help educate patients and their families on the multi-disciplinary approach to the treatment of brain tumors.
For more information about RI Brain & Spine Tumor Foundation or for upcoming events, please visit their website at http://www.ribstf.org