Brooke Desserich Executive Director
Brooke Desserich, Executive Director
Mrs. Desserich is a mother of a child diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. After her daughter’s passing in 2007, she co-founded The Cure Starts Now Foundation, which today has over 40 chapters worldwide and has funded over $29 million in cancer research and support. She co-authored the bestselling book, “Notes Left Behind” in 2009 detailing the journey with her daughter, which today has been translated into 22 languages worldwide. She is also an entrepreneur and chief financial officer of 3 companies with experience in financial operations for over 20 years.
1. What brought you to CSN?
When my daughter Elena was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer called DIPG, she was given less than 1% survival. After a long 9 month battle she passed, but her legacy lives on with the charity my husband and I began to fund research to ensure no family is given those hopeless odds again. The Cure Starts Now is my passion and life’s mission. Now the charity is not just about my daughter, but all of the children battling cancer.
2. What I do at CSN
I am the Executive Director… but sometimes I feel like I am a ringleader. Focused on the direction of our charity and its mission, I work with families to both support them and assist in helping them honor their children by funding research. Additionally I work on new opportunities and fundraising campaigns. Managing a fast growing charity is trying in every way but it is rewarding. One of my favorite job descriptions is managing an incredible staff who are the most passionate, determined, caring and crazy people I know.
3. What I like most about my job
I love meeting new families and helping them however they need assistance. Though it is exceedingly difficult to watch children battle cancer as my daughter did, their determination and attitude remind me to make every day and every action count!
4. What moment have you cherished most at CSN?
Every single patient and family I meet is pretty cherished in my life. But the most profound moment was in 2015 when we reached over $5 million in research funded and I finally took a step back to look at the tremendous progress we have made. It brought me to tears knowing so many families helped us reach that goal, but it all started with my daughter Elena. That was the most impactful and humbling moment since starting the charity.
5. Many people would be surprised if they knew I…
I am a closet baker. I love to unwind by baking and throw parties to have a reason to bake. I also am infamous for adding a bit of boozy baking to my menus.