Lisa Ward is the co-founder of www.Tough2gether.org, a nonprofit organization bringing people together to fight childhood cancer with emphasis on DIPG, a pediatric brainstem cancer. Lisa’s son Jace Ward was 20 when diagnosed with this 100% terminal brain cancer. Jace spoke nationally on the gaps in navigation to trials, patient ownership of data, and building bridges between industry and academia in rare cancer and disease during his 25-month battle.
Lisa is a lawyer by trade and uses her skills in mediation and solution building to break down the divides between research and patient care. In her first year, Lisa (i) brought together sixty foundations to fund $1.1 DIPG research and clinical trials, (ii) conceptualized and cooperated in the establishment of MyDIPGNavigator.org and the DIPG DMG National Brain Tumor Board, (iii) spoke at the White House’s Cancer Moonshot Childhood Cancer Forum, and (iv) coordinated the BrainStorm Summit bringing together 500+ patients, patient advocates, researchers, clinicians, policy makers and industry for a two day conference on pediatric brain cancer.
Most importantly, Lisa is responsible for bringing together AWS-Health and the Children’s Brain Tumor Network (CBTN) for the “DIPG Project”, a groundbreaking effort to use a patient continuum for the growing central collection of DIPG patient information, trials finder, publication and researcher data released without embargo to inform the newly diagnosed patient’s care in real time using a national tumor board. Lisa Ward is best known for forming the relationships necessary to bring together the entire DIPG DMG community.