Shemenski Foundation Donates $57,000 to UC Brain Tumor Center

Group of people awarded large check

Pictured (from left): Andrea Zahumensky, Jeff Rieder, Dr. Ron Warnick, Jason Greiner, Kathy Beechem, Zack Zitko, Lisa Suwalski, Kira Knight and Kelly Heaps.

The Shemenski Foundation on Saturday presented a $57,000 check to the Brain Tumor Center at the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute. The gift was the foundation’s largest ever to the UC Brain Tumor Center, bringing its cumulative giving over six years to $207,000.

The Shemenski Foundation was established in 2009 in memory of John Shemenski, who died of brain cancer at 34. The foundation has raised funds to fight cancer through its annual Strike Against Cancer Bowl-A-Thon and the Hyde Park Blast. The foundation’s generous gifts have supported bold pilot studies that explore molecular pathways that might lead toward new therapies or a cure.

“We cannot overstate our gratitude to the Shemenski Foundation,” said Ronald Warnick, MD, director of the UC Brain Tumor Center and the John M. Tew, Jr., MD, Chair in Neurosurgical Oncology. “This foundation, launched by a small but committed group of young professionals, has accomplished much in a short period of time. All of us at the UC Brain Tumor Center have been privileged to work with them and to see their passion for a cure take root in our laboratories.”

“John Shemenski would have been deeply touched by the efforts of this foundation,” said Kathy Beechem, chair of the Brain Tumor Center’s Community Advisory Council. “His friends have honored him with a tribute that has helped move science forward.”

The Shemenski Foundation was founded and led for most of its history by Jeff Eggleston. In a tragic turn of events, Eggleston passed away from a rare form of cancer in March 2016 at the age of 42.

After Eggleston’s passing, the Shemenski Foundation board decided to launch a new initiative – the Eggstrong Foundation – and bring the Shemenski Foundation to a close.

“We created the Eggstrong Foundation to continue Jeff’s mission to support cancer research,” said board member Jeffrey Rieder, who is also a member of the Brain Tumor Center’s Community Advisory Council. “We will be contributing 50 percent of our funds raised to the UC Brain Tumor Center and 50 percent toward general cancer research, with St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a global funder of children’s cancer research, as our 2017 beneficiary.”

In addition to Rieder, founding board members of the Eggstrong Foundation are Carrie Eggleston, Reed Eggleston, Katherine Ruwe and Margaret Venishel.

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