Person

Catherine Ivy

Catherine Ivy is a Scottsdale, Arizona-based philanthropist and former financial planner. She is the president of the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation.

The Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation was founded before 2005 by the Ivys. After the 2005 death of Catherine’s husband, Ben, from a rare glioblastoma brain cancer, the foundation shifted its focus nearly entirely to funding brain cancer research. [1]

The foundation temporarily shifted towards funding COVID-19 response during the pandemic, giving $6 million to Arizona’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including supporting vaccination efforts and distributing personal protective equipment. [2]

Early Life

Catherine Ivy is an Arizona native. She received bachelor’s of science degree in finance from Arizona State University, and a master’s degree in personal financial planning from Golden Gate University. [3]

She became a Certified Financial Planner and launched a financial planning company that eventually became Ivy Financial Planning and Associates, in Palo Alto, California. [4]

In 2000, she married her husband Ben, who had established and run a real estate company. The couple had already established the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation to support a variety of charitable causes that were important to the Ivys. [5]

Brain Cancer Research

Ben Ivy Death

In 2005, Ben Ivy woke one day with a numb feeling in his tongue. He had thought that he had slipped a disk, but then he lost all feeling in his tongue. [6]

A CT scan revealed a tumor. He was then diagnosed with glioblastoma, a rare and deadly form of brain cancer. Within seventy-two hours, the doctors operated to remove the tumor. He would die four months later. [7]

New Foundation FocusBefore Ben’s death, the Ivys decided to refocus their foundation on finding a cure for brain cancer. [8]

The initial goal of the foundation was to double the life expectancy of glioblastoma patients in the next seven years, to provide more time for scientists to study the progression of the disease. [9]

The foundation gave a 2015 grant to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas. The $2 million grant was used to fund brain cancer research. [10]

In 2018, the foundation gave a $25 million grant to Barrow Neurological Foundation. It was the largest grant ever awarded to a Dignity Health affiliate. The foundation established the Ivy Brain Tumor Center to focus on experimental therapies for brain cancer. [11]

By 2021, the foundation had committed $132 million for brain cancer research and treatment. [12]

COVID-19 Relief

In 2021, the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation awarded $6 million in COVID-19 pandemic relief. Of that, $1 million was used to support vaccination efforts and the balance to support the state of Arizona’s response to the virus. [13]

The foundation made the donations in order to assist the state in returning to pre-pandemic normalcy, and also in the hope that cancer research could resume once the pandemic was controlled. [14]

References

  1. Favakeh, Drew.  “New Ivy Brain Tumor Center Headquarters Coming To Downtown Phoenix”.” Arizona Republic. Aug 3, 2021 https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2021/08/01/new-ivy-brain-tumor-center-headquarters-coming-downtown-phoenix/8049861002/. ^
  2.  Jones, Vaughan. “Q&AZ: What Is The Ben And Catherine Ivy Foundation?”.” KJZZ. Feb. 17, 2021 https://kjzz.org/content/1658706/qaz-what-ben-and-catherine-ivy-foundation. ^
  3. “Board Of Directors”.”  Ivy Foundation. Accessed March 28, 2022 https://ivyfoundation.org/a-message-from-catherine-ivy/board-of-directors/. ^
  4. “Board Of Directors”.”  Ivy Foundation. Accessed March 28, 2022 https://ivyfoundation.org/a-message-from-catherine-ivy/board-of-directors/. ^
  5. Board Of Directors”.”  Ivy Foundation. Accessed March 28, 2022 https://ivyfoundation.org/a-message-from-catherine-ivy/board-of-directors/. ^
  6. Favakeh, Drew.  “New Ivy Brain Tumor Center Headquarters Coming To Downtown Phoenix”.” Arizona Republic. Aug 3, 2021 https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2021/08/01/new-ivy-brain-tumor-center-headquarters-coming-downtown-phoenix/8049861002/. ^
  7. Favakeh, Drew.  “New Ivy Brain Tumor Center Headquarters Coming To Downtown Phoenix”.” Arizona Republic. Aug 3, 2021 https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2021/08/01/new-ivy-brain-tumor-center-headquarters-coming-downtown-phoenix/8049861002/. ^
  8. Favakeh, Drew.  “New Ivy Brain Tumor Center Headquarters Coming To Downtown Phoenix”.” Arizona Republic. Aug 3, 2021 https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2021/08/01/new-ivy-brain-tumor-center-headquarters-coming-downtown-phoenix/8049861002/. ^
  9. Schaffer, Allison. “Seeking A Cure”.” MD Anderson Cancer Center. Fall 2015 https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/promise/seeking-a-cure-ivy-foundation.h36-1589835.html. ^
  10. Schaffer, Allison. “Seeking A Cure”.” MD Anderson Cancer Center. Fall 2015 https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/promise/seeking-a-cure-ivy-foundation.h36-1589835.html. ^
  11. “A Gift Of Hope For Brain Tumor Patients” Barrow Neurological Foundation. Accessed March 28, 2022 https://www.supportbarrow.org/donor-story/a-gift-of-hope-for-brain-tumor-patients/. ^
  12. Favakeh, Drew.  “New Ivy Brain Tumor Center Headquarters Coming To Downtown Phoenix”.” Arizona Republic. Aug 3, 2021 https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2021/08/01/new-ivy-brain-tumor-center-headquarters-coming-downtown-phoenix/8049861002/. ^
  13. Jones, Vaughan. “Q&AZ: What Is The Ben And Catherine Ivy Foundation?”.” KJZZ. Feb. 17, 2021 https://kjzz.org/content/1658706/qaz-what-ben-and-catherine-ivy-foundation. ^
  14. Jones, Vaughan. “Q&AZ: What Is The Ben And Catherine Ivy Foundation?”.” KJZZ. Feb. 17, 2021 https://kjzz.org/content/1658706/qaz-what-ben-and-catherine-ivy-foundation. ^
  See an error? Let us know!