Chris Elliott Fund

Bringing HOPE to the lives of brain tumor patients & their families

January 6, 2015
by Dellann Elliott Mydland
Comments Off on New Clinical Trial!

New Clinical Trial!

Happy New Year to each of you!  2015 is starting off with a BANG with a focus on brain cancer patients and new treatment options for rGBM.  I am delighted to finally be able to BLOG about a new clinical trial that is recruiting at the Seton Brain & Spine Institute in Austin, TX and will soon be recruiting as well in Seattle, WA.  I am not at liberty to say more about the Seattle site at this time, but can talk further about this trial in Central Texas.  To learn more about the Seton Brain & Spine Institute, click here:

Take a peek at this video to learn more about how this DEVICE works on Solid Tumors.  This device is now known as the “Nativis Voyager System”.  This video reflects how well it works and worked on canines.  The data from its use on canines was so incredibly positive, that it was used to get the human trials stared for recurrent GBM.  I have eagerly been sitting on the sidelines watching this technology, the canine clinical trial results and potential treatment for rGBM for the last 3 years. I am now DELIGHTED to see this potential new treatment for rGBM become available for brain cancer patients.  Check it out. Video is located at:

The Principal Investigator at Seton is Dr. Brain D. Vaillant.  The contact for this trial if you are interested in getting information and possibly participating is Heidi Herdon, RN, 513-324-7000, ext. 77713, This trial is noted as NCT02296580.  I am proud to say that Dr. Santosh Kesari, one of CEF’s Medial Advisory Board Members, is the Study Director for this study.  To learn more, click here: >

If you are in the Central TX area and interested in enrolling in this trial, please contact Heidi Herdon and it you are in the Pacific Northwest and interested in learning more about this trial, including enrollment, please feel free to contact me directly at Dellann@ChrisElliottFund or at 425-785-8489 or at

2015 is already starting off with more and more treatment options for GBM patients.  Let’s keep the momentum going!!!


Dellann Elliott Mydland, Founder & President

The Chris Elliott Fund


December 30, 2014
by Dellann Elliott Mydland
Comments Off on Dear CEF and EndBrainCancer Friend, Partner & Supporter

Dear CEF and EndBrainCancer Friend, Partner & Supporter

As 2014 draws to a close, I am thankful for the work that I get to do each day and have been doing for the last 14.5 years, inspired by the late Christopher Stewart Elliott.

I am thankful that the Chris Elliott Fund and I make an IMPACT and a DIFFERENCE in your lives, and shorten the GAP between a brain tumor diagnosis and the time it takes to receive IMMEDIATE ACCESS to ADVANCED TREATMENT OPTIONS.

Thank YOU for your support of the Chris Elliott Fund. In case you intended to, but haven’t yet, made a Year End gift, you can do so online by clicking HERE.

I would also like to personally invite all in the Seattle Metro Area to CEF’s:

2nd Annual Patient, Caregiver, Partner & Friends Community Open House Friday, January 09, 2015, 4-8pm @Chris Elliott Fund Patient Support Services & Call Center, 14959 NE 95th St., Redmond WA 98052

You will have the opportunity to meet our staff and learn more about the work we do every single day on behalf of brain tumor patients across the country, including IMMEDIATE ACCESS to advanced treatment and clinical trials PLUS learn about our exciting 2015 expansion plans. Refreshments and light appetizers will be provided.

To help us with planning, we are asking that you pre-register HERE.

Finally, I hope that each and every one of you had a Blessed Holiday filled with joy, love, and family time and wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!


Dellann Elliott Mydland

President & CEO

The Chris Elliott Fund


December 17, 2014
by Susan Kellner
Comments Off on Death With Dignity?

Death With Dignity?

Dellann just completed a compelling interview with Laura Martin from the award winning British documentary company Love Productions. They are putting together a documentary on “Death With Dignity”. As we all know, this is a very controversial law, accessible in only 3 states so far. Dellann’s viewpoint on this matter?

“I personally believe all humans should have access to “Death with Dignity” when a terminal illness is diagnosed. What I want to caution all of us about, and why I agreed to do this interview in the first place, is that I do not want to see those newly diagnosed brain illness/cancer patients just jumping into Death with Dignity before they’ve been made aware of their options. It is SO imperative that the newly diagnosed be A) treated by a brain tumor specialist at an actual brain tumor center and B) create a “Plan B” for when the brain cancer/tumor returns if current Standard Treatment/Standard Protocol does not create survivors. Currently, those that are surviving this disease are those that are seeking out IMMEDIATE ACCESS to advanced treatment options and Clinical Trials. When and if the time comes…where there are truly no more options for advanced treatments and one’s quality of life is no longer “good”, then all should have access to “Death with Dignity.”

DellannElliott Mydland

A Message from Love Productions: We would be very grateful to hear from anyone who wants to find out more or who is willing to share their experience on this subject.   All conversations would be 100% confidential and not for broadcast.  Please contact me on, be sure to say you heard about this project through the Chris Elliott Fund.


December 16, 2014
by Dellann Elliott Mydland
Comments Off on The Logistics of Caregiving from a Women’s Perspective

The Logistics of Caregiving from a Women’s Perspective

As many of you know, the Month of November was National Caregiver  month.  The Chris Elliott Fund, since then, has been posting several great books and/or tips for Caregivers to read.  I believe we are on Post #9 and have planned a total of 15 posts on this subject. It is in this spirit that I write this BLOG post.

For the last several weeks, I’ve been reflecting on my past experience as a caregiver for my late husband, Chris Elliott.  Boy, I can truly say, this was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do so far during my 53 years.   To read a bit more on how I managed this while still raising our two young children, please read “Chris’ Story”.

Young families where the Dad has brain cancer has been what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. The Chris Elliott Fund and I have  been involved recently in many brain cancer cases where there are young children involved and typically, it is the man in the family that has brain cancer and his wife also works outside of the home.  I was thinking about this aspect of caregiving this morning while listening to several phone calls  that had come in over the weekend from women whose husbands have brain cancer.  Typically, they have had a seizure and or surgery and at the present time, they are unable  to drive. The calls lately have been centered around getting 2nd/3rd opinions and IMMEDIATE ACCESS to advanced treatment, driving the patient to/from work and medical or legal related appointments, etc.  This morning I started wondering how does a women, who is a mother, wife and who also works outside the home do it all when her husband has been diagnosed with brain cancer?  How do these women manage it all?  How do they carry  on as a “Mother”, as a “Wife” and as an “Employee”? The emotions related to this topic are real and they are scary and the logistics and management skills required to manage this scenario are quite extraordinary.  These women have my utmost and full respect.  This particular experience in a way, makes us “sisters”.

I know and understand what drives these women – they are determined to find a cure for their husband’s brain cancer and God only knows where they get the strength and energy…actually, we do know; it is their love for their husbands and their children that drives them and gives them the necessary energy, strength and courage to continue on and to “muster up the ability to keep being strong for their family and to keep seeking out any and all possible treatments to save their loved one’s life”.  It  is also their fear that keeps them going.  It  is  a very scary  time and truthfully, the stress that comes out of this situation does make one age quickly and other health problems can arise out of the stress these women are put under. These women, my friends, deserve our utmost respect and our help in navigating through the fight of their lives.  I am working on a new FACT SHEET that will address this very real  need and hope to have it published by the end of March 2015.  I will share it here as well as on our website and  would love to have a gathering in our Community Center at our Brain Cancer Patient Support Services & Call Center in Redmond, WA.  I will keep you posted.

I can tell you from personal experience as well as from all of the experience I  have working with these women and their personal stories, that the cheerful attitude and the smile they have on their face is there because they have to have it.  If they did not, they would break down and cry for all the things their family may lose, such as the father of their children, the love of her life, the life and future that may not come to be.  No matter how great the support system is that these women have, they are scared and are already mourning the life they used to have because the new life is all about doctor appointments,  logistics related to who is going to drive the kids to school, to practice, who is  going to pick up the prescription, who, who, who, who. The answer usually is  the mother…the wife… the woman who loves the brain cancer patient.

I don’t know how I did it 14 years ago and I most definitely don’t know how I would do it now.  I want all of us to remember to help these women.  These women are proud and they are strong and they feel they have to be strong and to take care of their family and their loved one.  I want us to remember to “understand this” while at the same time, figuring out ways to help these women.  It is a fine line as they don’t want to feel like they need  help.  I want all of us to figure out ways we can help  these women, while at the same time, help their families as well as the brain tumor patient. I want these women to feel the love and support of not only others but also the love and support of the Chris Elliott Fund.

I am seeking ways we can support these women together.  Please contact me with your ideas on how WE can help the Caregiver with their loved one, their family and their own health during this very demanding period of time.

Sending my Healthy & Happy Holiday Wishes to Each of You.



Dellann Elliott Mydland, Founder & President

The Chris Elliott Fund and



December 9, 2014
by Dellann Elliott Mydland
Comments Off on It’s OK to Feel Sadness & Anger for your loved one that has passed away without receiving advanced brain cancer/tumor treatment, but…….

It’s OK to Feel Sadness & Anger for your loved one that has passed away without receiving advanced brain cancer/tumor treatment, but…….

Please turn your anger and sadness into something good as a way to honor your loved one.  I might be able to help you with that. At the Chris Elliott Fund, we talk “LIVE” all the time as well as via email/social media & online support groups with many caregivers, loved ones and the families of brain cancer patients that have passed away.  Something I have noticed is that often times, there is anger and sadness expressed when a new treatment or a possible new treatment/clinical trial becomes available or anger arises when the loved one is not able to participate in a clinical trial for  various  reasons.  Most  of the anger and sadness stems from the following:

  • Receiving “Compassionate Use” of the treatment under study is so hard to get, and
  • The parameters to get into a Clinical Trial are very tight (this is what Al Musella, The Musella Foundation” is working on.) The idea would be to lesson these parameters and to make the actual time spent in the clinical trial shorter.

Brain Tumor patients and their  loved ones often feel anger and sadness that their loved one did not get the opportunity to have a new and/or promising treatment.  I understand this and even today, 12.5 years after my  late husband, Chris Elliott, has passed away from this disease, I often think that although I am beyond delighted as a brain cancer patient advocate that new and promising therapies are being developed and even though I often have something to do with “IMMEDIATE ACCESS” of  these treatments for brain cancer patinets, I still think about how great it would have been if Chris had had access to these treatments too.

Having said this, I do want to share that although there is a piece of me that is saddened that Chris did not live long enough to see these new treatment options, I am also beyond THRILLED when I learn of new possible treatment options and am thrilled because then, I have something new to talk to brain cancer patients about and to try to get them into this treatment.  This is what I do to honor my late husband’s life.

While writing this BLOG post, I  realized that it  may be helpful to share that the role of CEF’s Health Information Concierge (HIC)/Patient Advocate (PA) is to help those seeking advanced treatment and to help them get into the treatment fast.  The role and goal of the HIC and the mission of the CEF is to shorten the GAP it takes from a patient’s brain cancer diagnosis and the time it takes for the patient to learn about and get into advanced treatment/clinical trial.  CEF feels that if we can do this, we can aid the patient who is seeking advanced treatment to fight their disease because let’s face it, present standard protocol to treat GBM is not creating a healthy amount of survivors.  All of us want to change this – we want these patients to have IMMEDIATE ACCESS to advanced treatment that may save their life.

The CEF feels that if we can have patients and their families contact us immediately at diagnosis or better even yet, have the general public know that they need to contact us at the time of diagnosis and BEFORE SURGERY, we feel that we can cause a “shift” in and close the “GAP” between a brain cancer diagnosis and the time  it takes to learn about advanced treatment and the time it takes  to get into a clinical trial.  If we can  do this, we believe we can give the patient and their loved ones more “HOPE” in fighting this disease and from a research standpoint, we feel that we can “feed” the research with more tumor tissue as well as more patients. When we are successful in this endeavor, there is a change then that it will become easier to get into clinical trials and the length of the trials themselves will be shortened.

I  invite you to learn more and join us in this effort at  I also invite you to learn more about our mission and day-to-day work by checking out the job description for our Health Information Concierges.  In early 2015, CEF is expanding our free brain cancer patient support services and will be hiring another Health Information Concierge, (link). Please consider spreading the word and joining forces to help those families and loved ones of brain cancer patients know and understand that we “hear” you and understand your anger and sadness that your loved one did not have IMMEDIATE ACCESS to advanced treatments.  We know the system is broken.  I’d like  your help fixing it.  We CAN DO THIS Together!