Northwestern Medicine

Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute Honors Brain Tumor Survivors at Annual Minds Matter Benefit

Northwestern Memorial Hospital May 18, 2017

CHICAGO, IL – When Jamie Mogilner married her late husband Jayson “Jay” Mogilner nearly a decade ago, she knew she needed to lean on him for love, support and guidance through life’s many challenges. She didn’t realize roles would be reversed one day and he would need her strength and support to get through life’s most challenging obstacles.

“Jay was my rock, my heart, my everything,” said Jamie. “He was an ambitious salesman, talented guitarist and devoted husband and father. He was charismatic, outgoing and definitely a charmer.”

Ten years into their marriage and two kids later, Jamie noticed something different about her husband’s personality that would truly test the vows they took on their wedding day “for sickness and health.”

“I will never forget rushing over to the emergency room after the doctor called me about Jay’s scans,” said Jamie. “The physician told me they found something on his brain and that I needed to get over to the hospital right away.”

On December 24, 2008, Jay was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme on the frontal lobe of his brain. The tumor was about the size of an egg and needed surgery immediately.

Two years following the diagnosis, Jay went through rigorous chemotherapy and radiation to treat the tumor and by late November 2010 the tumor had grown back. Jay required a second surgery to remove the two spots they found on his routine imaging appointment.

“It was emotionally hard on the family and heart wrenching to see someone I loved go through something so scary,” said Jamie. “I knew I had to be strong and conjure up the strength to support my husband and our two sons.”

The Mogilner family tried to live every moment to the fullest during Jay’s brain cancer journey. They took trips together as a family including an unforgettable trip to see Mickey and Minnie at Disney World in 2010 and Jamie’s family even planned a big 40th birthday bash – something she says she will never forget.

Jay passed away on July 20, 2011 surrounded by family and friends. 

One of Jay’s physician’s recalls memories of him while treating him at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

“I could tell Jason was very family oriented. He adored and loved his wife and children to no end,” said Jeffrey Raizer, MD, co-founder of the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute (NBTI) and medical neuro-oncologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “He gave everything he could in his fight to overcome the disease, so he could be there for his family and he did it with dignity.

Raizer is also a physician at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor of neurology and hematology/oncology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

This year Jamie is the Northwestern Brain Tumor Institute planning committee chair and honoring his legacy through the efforts to help raise money for those suffering from brain tumors.

“Support for this event is important to our patients and their families so we can continue to conduct life-saving research, which leads to better treatment options,” said James P. Chandler, MD, co-director of NBTI, surgical director of neuro-oncology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Lavin/Fates professor of neurological surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine. 

Jay and other survivors will be honored this Friday at Four Seasons Hotel Chicago at the 8th annual NBTI Minds Matter Benefit Dinner. The fundraiser will feature a live band by Gentleman of Leisure and a live auction including exclusive bid items such as a VIP Hamilton experience, dinner with actress/producer Bonnie Hunt and more. Master of ceremonies will also include WTTW’s Chicago Tonight host Geoffrey Baer.

To purchase tickets or to learn more about NBTI, please visit www.braintumorinstitute.org/minds_matter/.

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Linnea Mason
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Northwestern Memorial Hospital linnea.mason@nm.org 312.926.2955