A man and his mother who both battled brain cancer have left a lasting impression on the Cedar Valley. They have left behind numerous loved ones who cherish and honor their memory, and who also support those who now fight the same battles they faced with brain cancer.
Chris Toneff was 29-years-old when he was diagnosed with brain cancer, grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma, in 2008. After a long fight, he passed away in 2013. Not even two months later, his own mother was diagnosed with a stage 4 Glioblastoma. She passed away in the spring of 2016.
The last decade has seen great advancements in the field of Neuro-Oncology. Gray Warriors, a non-profit started by Bonnie Sadler, has organized to have Dr. Joon Uhm (Neurology/Oncology, Mayo Clinic) and Dr. Derek Johnson (Radiology, Mayo Clinic) to come to Waterloo on Wednesday, May 23 to speak about the 21st century Neuro-Oncology advances in treatment, imaging and research.
"We want to get the word out to the medical community regarding Gray Warriors and our ability to help their patients undergoing treatment for brain cancer/tumors," said Sadler, Gray Warriors President and Founder. Colleen Toneff was Sadler’s sister, and Chris was her nephew.
"In their memory, I wanted to be able to make a tangible impact, so I chose the mission of this foundation to assist people financially, diagnosed, and receiving treatment for brain cancer," said Sadler. "In northeast Iowa, treatment is not available locally; one must travel 1 ½ hours to the University of Iowa or two hours to Mayo Clinic for treatment."
The event, which includes dinner, will be at Sunnyside Country Club at 6 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Any medical professional who has an interest in this field, as well as anyone from the public, is encouraged to attend.
Gray Warriors provides grants to those in need during treatment, and to provide support for individuals suffering from brain cancer/tumors. More information and registration for May 23 can be found on the Gray Warriors website.
Questions about the May 23rd event can also be directed to 319-404-1348.
Also, follow the Gray Warriors organization on their Facebook page.
The life of Chris Toneff and his Tractorcade was also recently honored at the Cedar Valley Hospice’s Rio Nights fundraiser. Read more here.