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Donors are an integral part of a team of cancer-fighters, explained Tanja Gruber, MD, PhD, the new director of the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.

“We couldn’t do what we do without you,” Dr. Gruber said, addressing members of the Lucile Salter Packard Society at Your Plans, Our Future, an event held virtually on June 22.

She shared the story of an estate gift that provided unrestricted funds to support cancer research and ultimately enabled families whose infants had been diagnosed with a difficult-to-treat form of leukemia to participate in a clinical trial. “What a legacy that gift provided,” Dr. Gruber said.

Dr. Gruber joined Packard Children’s last fall from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She is a leading clinician and researcher, pioneering treatments for children whose cancer is not responding to treatment or has relapsed. In addition to cutting-edge clinical trials and expert care, Dr. Gruber highlighted the need for supportive services for the entire family, including palliative care and psycho-social services.

“It’s a very difficult time—not just in the child’s life, but the entire family’s life,” Dr. Gruber said. “We are building up our team so that when children come to us, we’re providing the best treatment, the best diagnostics, and the best care for the entire family. That holistic approach is very, very important to us.”

Dr. Gruber’s team at the Bass Center includes renowned clinicians and incredible nurses like Rich Ramos, RN, MS, CNS, PNP, CPON, who has been with our hospital for 27 years and recently received the Magnet Nurse of the Year Award, given to just a handful of nurses across the country.

During her speech, Dr. Gruber also described the future of the Bass Center: “I envision a center where children with high-risk cancers come to us for a chance at cure. Where we set the standard for care, and not just follow the standard.”

We invite you to watch the event’s recording.

For those of you who have included us in your financial and estate plans, you have taken steps which mean the world to clinicians and researchers. For those of you who would like to learn more about supporting our work—whether it’s pediatric oncology, the NICU, the Heart Center, or so many other wonderful life-saving areas, please contact me and Shadie at or (650) 724-5778. We’d love to visit with you.