News and Events

Research, Head and Neck Cancer, Fundraising, Mardi Gras MASKerade, Head For A Cure

We look forward to seeing many of you this Saturday, February 8, 2020 at The Phoenix (812 Race Street, Cincinnati) to Head For A Cure at the 5th annual Mardi Gras MASKerade, Laissez les bon temps rouler and enjoy an evening of music, magic and lots of fun. Face painting, tarot readers, raffles and the ever-popular Constellation Brands' Benn Banks Wine Win Duck Pond will be back. In addition to many wonderful items, a special item in this year's silent auction is a one week/7 nights stay in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment in Rome, which sleeps 4-5.

It is still possible to purchase Tickets online or at the door.

Whether you plan to attend this fantastic event and would like a sneak preview, or you are unable to attend and would like to participate (and help us kick head and neck cancer's butt), check out all the Silent Auction items. Bid now and keep bidding until the silent auction closes this Saturday, February 8 at 10:00 p.m.

Head For A Cure at the 5th annual Mardi Gras MASKerade, the foundation’s main fundraiser on February 8, 2020 at The Phoenix, 812 Race Street, downtown Cincinnati. Plan to join us for an evening of music, magic and lots of fun. Face painting, tarot readers, raffles and the ever-popular Constellation Brands' Benn Banks Wine Win Duck Pond will be back. In addition to many wonderful items, a special item in this year's silent auction is a one week/7 nights stay in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment in Rome, which sleeps 4-5 - and the silent auction will again be available online! 

UPDATE: Local12/WKRC news anchor Adam Clement will again serve as the evening's MC. Music will be provided by live band, Title 14!

Purchase individual or table sponsorship tickets online NOW! The limited discounted "early bird" tickets are still available online, but are not likely to remain long!


When you Head For A Cure with us at the Mardi Gras MASKerade, Great Food for a Great Cause, or any other event, you truly are working to end head and neck cancer by funding innovative research. Your gifts to Brandon’s Foundation allowed us to award two grants of $25,000 in 2019. Trisha Wise-Draper, MD, PhD, was the recipient of the $25,000 University of Cincinnati Cancer Center’s (UCCC) Brandon C. Gromada Head & Neck Pilot Grant for her research proposal Inhibiting the IL-6 and pSTAT3 Pathway in Natural Killer Cells for Treatment of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. The second research proposal funded at $25,000 was awarded to Stephen Y. Lai, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for a “next step” renewal project, Testing the Efficacy of miR-27a* in Preclinical Models of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC)

THANK YOU for your ongoing support! You are making a difference in the effort to find less-debilitating treatments and put an end to head and neck cancer. Because of you the day will come when no other families will have to know the profound sadness of missing a vital member due to this disease. 

Last week Brandon's Foundation awarded a second 2019 grant of $25,000 for a head and neck research proposal. (More on the 2019 grant awardees and their projects soon!) This means your generosity has allowed us to award $50,000 to promising research during 2019 and a total of $236,000 since 2014!

December 3rd is #GivingTuesday. We hope you will again remember Brandon's Foundation next Tuesday and help us continue to fund the innovative research that will lead to less-debilitating treatments and the cures that are so needed for head and neck cancers. Donations may be made online at the Foundation's Donate page or or via the mailing address available on the Contact page. (If donating online, be sure to click "Continue" after assuring us you are not a robot!) Thank you for your ongoing support!

Brandon's Foundation will host the 5th annual Mardi Gras MASKerade to Head for a Cure the evening of Saturday, February 8, 2020 at The Phoenix in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Last year's event raised $29,500 and with your help the 2020 event will raise more than $30,000 for research. For information on sponsorship levels, hosting a table or donating items for the silent auction, please contact us via email - Tickets for the evening will soon go on sale online, so continue to visit our web site. More details will be available soon!

April is Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Month and the early signs of head and neck cancer can fool a person, but head and neck cancer is no joke. This year approximately 550,000 persons worldwide will be diagnosed with and approximately 300,000 will die of an oral, head, and/or neck cancer. Of these, 65,000 in the USA will learn they have oral, head, and/or neck cancer and 14,000 persons (someone's spouse, parent, child, sibling, good friend, etc.) will die. Thank you for contributing to Brandon's Foundation, and through it, the research that will change these statistics.

UPDATE - Mardi Gras MASKerade - Thank you to all who participated in or contributed in any way to the March 2, 2019 Mardi Gras MASKerade! With your help, more than $30,000 was raised for head and neck cancer research! Since the Mardi Gras MASKerade the Foundation has sent $25,000 to the UC Health for Brandon's 2019 head and neck cancer research project award!

April 29th Event - Please plan to join us April 29 for the 7th annual Great Food for a Great Cause at The National Exemplar (Mariemont) to honor Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Month. All proceeds from food and beverage served between 5 to 9 p.m. - whether dine in or carry out - will benefit Brandon's Foundation (so head and neck cancer research)! Make a reservation NOW online or phone 513-271-2103.

Thank you for helping us work to end this awful disease. 

Brandon's Foundation was able to offer $45,000 in the form of two research grants in 2018! This is only due to your ongoing donations and support to end head and neck cancer through research of new treatments and cures. Thank you so very much! We are please to share where your donations went this year by introducing you to the awardees, and we hope you will continue to support Brandon's Foundation so other worthy projects receive funding in 2019 and beyond!

Vinita Takiar, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and member of the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute (UCCI) and her multidisciplinary team, including medical oncologist Trisha Wise-Draper, MD, PhD, surgeon Alice Tang, MD, and post-doctoral fellow Christina Wicker, PhDwere awarded the 2018 Brandon C. Gromada Head &Neck Cancer Foundation Research Pilot Grant of $25,000. Their project, Developing Head and Neck Patient-Derived Organoid Models for Preclinical Testing,involves collecting pilot data looking at patient-derived organoids (PDO). Growing tumors in the lab directly from patients will provide the researchers with a new way to study head and neck cancers and explore new “personalized medicine” treatment approaches. Dr. Takiar and the Foundation's grant award were recently feature in UC News.

 Brandon’s Foundation (providing $20,000) joined with the Conquer Cancer Foundation, of the American Society of Clinical Oncology(ASCO), to fund a 2018 Young Investigator Award(YIA) for a head and neck cancer research project Devarati Mitra, MD, PhD, of Dana Farber Cancer Institute, was awarded this YIA for her project Radiation Therapy in Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Resistant Head and Neck Cancer. Dr. Mitra’s research seeks to understand why most patients with head and neck cancer do not respond to immunotherapy and investigate if radiation therapy can be used as a tool to help overcome treatment resistance. Ultimately, she hopes these studies will inform how radiation therapy may be best combined with anti-PD1 treatment to maximize disease response rates and improve outcomes for those with recurrent or metastatic disease. ASCO included a feature about this grant award, Brandon and the Foundation in the November 2018 issue of ASCO Connections


Dr. Ben-Jonathan (left); Dr. O'Neill (center); Dr. Watts (right)

The Board of Directors of Brandon’s Foundation recently announced its 2017 research grant awardees. Nira Ben-Jonathan, PhD, Professor of Cancer Biology, University of Cincinnati (UC), Ohio is the recipient of a $20,000 grant to investigate Novel Treatments for Head and Neck Cancer using FDA-approved Drugs. Wendi O’Neill, DDS, The Ohio State University (OSU), Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery received a $15,000 grant to study A Novel Immunotherapy Combination for Improved Head and Neck Cancer Outcomes. A third grant of $10,000 was awarded to Tammara L. Watts, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Department of Otolaryngology to study Crenolanib: Targeting the Tumor Microenvironment in Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Twenty-four research proposals were submitted in response to the Foundation’s Request for Proposals (RFP) in March 2017. The Foundation’s Board depends on the reviews of project proposals by experts in the field of head and neck cancer to determine which projects show the most promise and best “fit” the Foundation goals. The Board is very grateful to these reviewers, who give generously of their valuable time to help with this process. Thank you to 2017 reviewers:

William Barrett, MD – University of Cincinnati

Mihir K. Bhayani, MD – University of Chicago

Keith A. Casper, MD – University of Michigan

Brenda Diergaarde, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Michael Gibson, MD, PhD – Vanderbilt University

Stephen Lai, MD, PhD – MD Anderson

Tahir Latif, MD. MBA – University of Cincinnati

Carol Lewis, MD, MPH – MD Anderson

Michelle L. Mierzwa, MD – University of Michigan

Yash J. Patil, MD – University of Cincinnati

Jack Phan, MD, PhD – MD Anderson

Curtis R. Pickering, PhD – MD Anderson

Timothy D. Struve, MD – University of Cincinnati

Shirley Yu Su, MD – MD Anderson

Vinita Takiar, MD, PhD – University of Cincinnati

Eric Thorpe, MD – Loyola (Chicago)

Keith Wilson, MD – University of Cincinnati

Trisha Wise-Draper, MD, PhD -- University of Cincinnati

(Several additional reviewers preferred to remain anonymous.)


Summaries of Funded Proposals

Novel Treatments for Head and Neck Cancer using FDA-approved Drugs (Nira Ben-Jonathan, PhD, UC)

Patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) are commonly treated with surgery, radiation, and/or conventional chemotherapeutic drugs such as cisplatin and taxol. However, all these treatments are associated with debilitating side effects, and a significant decrease in the quality of life. Moreover, treatment failure due to loss of drug responsiveness are common. Consequently, there is an urgent need for alternative, more targeted therapies for this disease. Our laboratory discovered that dopamine, a small molecule best known for its role in brain functions, is also involved in HNC. Activation of specific dopamine receptors, named D1R, located on the surface of cancer cells, suppressed cell growth and increased the ability of conventional anti-cancer drugs to kill the cells. The first objective is to determine the relative occurrence of D1R in several hundred pathological tumor samples, and correlate D1R presence with advance disease stage, responsiveness to treatment, and overall patient survival. The second objective is to use four dopamine/D1R-associated drugs, which are already approved by the FDA to unrelated health conditions. HNC cells will be incubated with each anti-D1R drug, alone or together, with cisplatin or taxol, and cell growth/death will be determined. We predict that a combination treatment will be highly beneficial as a future treatment for HNC patients, as it should markedly decrease the severe side effects of conventional chemotherapeutic drugs while increasing the overall efficacy of tumor-suppression.     

A Novel Immunotherapy Combination for Improved Head and Neck Cancer Outcomes (Wendi O’Neill, DDS, OSU)

Despite improved treatment outcomes for many cancer types, little progress has been made in the management of poorly differentiated head and neck cancer (HNC). Our work aims to improve patient outcomes by combining two promising therapeutic strategies targeting PD1 and HIF. Each plays distinct and important roles in cancer, yet there is established regulatory interplay between them. Inhibiting these key players together makes an intriguing and rational therapeutic strategy. We anticipate that our novel combination of HIF and PD-1 inhibitors will achieve superior anti-cancer activity compared to either agent alone. Our work, if successful, will provide the needed evidence to design and initiate a clinical trial to assess the activity of our novel therapeutic combination in patients with poorly differentiated HNC.


Crenolanib: Targeting the Tumor Microenvironment in Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (Tammara L. Watts, MD, PhD, UTMB)

Treatment costs for patients with head and neck cancer exceed $3 billion annually. Treatment failures give rise to recurrent and/or persistent disease often associated with concomitant resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy. The clinical behavior observed by head and neck surgeons, like myself, suggests that therapies aimed at solely targeting cancer cells are inadequate and that new treatment modalities are urgently needed. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and other non-cancerous cells form a dense tumor associated microenvironment around the cancer cells, and are known to be critical contributors to the growth of several solid tumors. This dense tumor microenvironment (TME) is pathognomonic for patients with oral cavity (OC)- and oropharyngeal (OP) squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Our central hypothesis is that treatment failures and local regional recurrence in OC- and OPSCC is derived, at least in part, from the presence of TME MSCs.  Therefore,disruption of MSC chemotaxis to the TME may inhibit the effects of MSCs, namely on the proliferation of cancer stem cells (CSCs) and cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in the TME, thereby improving tumor cell responsiveness to conventional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. The monies from this grant will be used to fund the in vivo (mouse) studies to determine the effect of stem cells on tumor development and metastasis in OC cancer.


Congratulations to the 2017 grant award recipients! Thank You, reviewers! And a HUGE Thank You to all who donate to Brandon’s Foundation via the web site Donate page, participating in the Mardi Gras MASKerade, hosting and attending events that benefit the foundation, such as Great Food for a Great Cause and MCA Day Chicago! In the last four years Brandon’s foundation has awarded more than $140,000 to fund innovative head and neck cancer research projects. None of this would be possible without your continued contributions. Thank you!

Bleed for a Cause

Once again it’s time to Bleed for Brandon’s (Gromada) Cause! Hoxworth Blood Center's Bleed for a Cause takes place between July 18 to August 13 at any Hoxworth Blood Center neighborhood donor centers or any blood drive, such as onsite work, or organizational drives or mobile blood drives.

Brandon Gromada’s Foundation receives points toward a monetary award, but donors must verbally provide a good portion of the foundation’s name when arriving to donate. (No Say, No Pay!) A donation of whole blood is worth 1 point, red cells or plasma earn 2 points, and platelets receive 3 points. An extra 2 points are added for first-time donors. (If you don’t qualify as a donor, PLEASE recruit new and seasoned donors!)

Roll up your sleeve! Whether donating at a neighborhood center, on-site blood drive or a Hoxworth Mobile Bus, make an appointment NOW online or by calling 513-451-0910. (Phone appointment is necessary for platelet donation. Also, phone coordinators can find donor sites closest to you for any type of blood donation.)

Last year Brandon’s Foundation won the second place $5000 award. Please help win the $10,000 top award to fund the research that will put an end to head and neck cancer!

2016 Research Grant Awards

The Board of Directors announced the 2016 research grant awardees on June 2, the four-year date of Brandon’s death. Recipients of a $20,000 renewal grant are Scott Langevin, PhD and Trisha Wise-Draper, MD, PhD of the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine for a renewal of Efficacy of an LSD1 Inhibitor (GSK2879552) for Treating Sinonasal Squamous Cancer. Neil Bhola, PhD and Jennifer Grandis, MD of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSD) are awarded a $10,000 grant to study Investigating the Therapeutic Role of BRD4 on Cetuximab Resistance in HNSCC, and Laura Conforti, PhD of the University of Cincinnati receives $6,000 to study Tumor Microenvironment and Immune Therapies.

Congratulations to the recipients! Thank you to all of our Foundation donors and project committee members who make these research grants possible! It would not happen without you!

  Also, Brandon’s Foundation was acknowledged for its help in funding the research of Weg Ongkeko, MD, PhD (UCSD) leading to the report The Non-coding Landscape of Head & Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma in in the journal Oncotarget.


Join us Monday, May 23rd from 5-9 p.m. as the extraordinary staff of The National Exemplar, 6880 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, OH 45227, hosts its fourth annual Great Food for a Great Cause to benefit Brandon's Foundation! Make reservations NOW for between 5-9 p.m. to dine in or carry out from the restaurant's regular menu. All profits from the evening, excluding taxes and tips, will be donated to Brandon’s Foundation! Here is a chance to enjoy great food while funding research to fight head & neck cancer. Call 513-271-2103 or reserve a table online. We'll see you there! 

Brandon's Foundation is excited to announce its first annual Mardi Gras MASKerade! This fundraising event takes place February 6, 2016 - the Saturday before Ash Wednesday - from 7:30 p.m. to Midnight at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley (3021 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45209) with free valet parking available.  The evening will feature musical entertainment by Dan Dorff Trio and DJ Court Jester Mark Santangelo! Tarot card readers will predict guests’ futures and an event photographer will snap keepsake photos. Guests may participate in the costume contest to compete for the crowns of MASKerade King and Queen. If you're not the costume contest type, "regular" attire is also welcome. (Masks and beads will be provided!) Other highlights include a silent auction, raffle baskets, split the pot, wine & craft beer raffles and more! And the signature beverage can be enjoyed in a souvenir Hurricane glass. 

Tickets are now available for purchase online! An Early Bird price of $50 per ticket is in effect for the first 50 tickets. Once these are gone, the price is $75 per ticket. So purchase TODAY!

Mardi Gras MASKerade sponsors will receive special treatment at the event! For information about sponsorship opportunities, email 

Plan to join us February 6th when we "laissez les bond temps rouler" while raising funds for head and neck cancer research! 

Funds will go to head and neck cancer researchers at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and the University of California, San Diego

Brandon C. Gromada died of head and neck cancer at the age of 38 three years ago today, June 2, 2012. It seems fitting that the foundation named for him announces its 2015 research grants on this third anniversary of his death. The recipients of the two grants are Nooshin Hashemi, M.D. and El Mustapha Bahassi, Ph.D. of the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine, and Rutherford (Weg) M. Ongkeko, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). 

The UC College of Medicine researchers are being awarded a $20,000 grant to study "Pharmacogenomic Profiling of Circulating Tumor Cells to Guide Head and Neck Cancer Therapy." A $15,000 grant will provide seed funding for Dr. Ongkeko’s research, "Characterization of Long Non-coding RNA in Poorly Differentiated Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma," at UCSD. The recipients of both grants expressed similar themes when notified their research projects were chosen for the two grants. They noted the difficulties for those seeking funding for head and neck cancer research. According to Dr. Bahassi, "Generous gifts from foundations like yours are becoming essential as research funding is facing daunting challenges." All reiterated Dr. Ongkeko’s pledge to use the funds wisely in order to better understand head and neck cancer and explore treatments that "ultimately find a cure for this unforgiving disease."

The foundation’s grant selection process takes time and effort. A “request for proposals” is made early in the year. Each submitted proposal is then sent to several experts in the field of head and neck cancer who volunteer their time to review and rate various merits of a proposal. (Submitted proposals are “blinded,” so reviewers do not know a researcher’s name.) The foundation’s board of directors uses the reviewers’ ratings to guide the final selection of projects for funding.

About Head and Neck Cancer

"Cancer of the head and neck, which includes oral cancer, receives little public attention," said Karen Gromada, chairperson of the foundation’s board of directors and Brandon’s mother, “although it is among the most common – and the most deadly – cancers in the United States.” The sixth most common cancer in the United States, its incidence has risen significantly in the last one to two decades among those 25-50 years of age. Usually a form of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), head and neck cancer’s low 50% five-year survival rate has changed little for decades.  The goal of Brandon's foundation is to provide funding for innovative head and neck cancer research, which will result in cures and more effective, less-debilitating treatments while also raising awareness about the disease. The Gromadas want to end the devastation of head and neck cancer so "no other family will have to deal with the sadness we will always feel with Brandon’s death."

Join us now to HEAD 4 A Cure! Donate today and help end head and neck cancer tomorrow.

Brandon smiles after chemo/radiation regime

Five years ago - April 2010 - I'd never heard of Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Month, although our family had recently become acquainted with head and neck cancer. Only a few weeks earlier Brandon called with news that brought me to my knees. I vividly remember where I was and what I was doing as he explained that one of the several nasal polyps he'd had removed a few days before had shown "poorly differentiated - or undifferentiated - squamous cell cancer" in his right maxillary sinus. One moment I was standing, the next I was not. My knees and my mind had buckled. But hey, how bad could this be? Surely, it was treatable. Cancer treatment had come so far.

The pathology findings from the examination of the nasal polyps were discussed by the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute's tumor board. Surgery, a maxillectomy, was scheduled for later in March, and the head and neck surgeon told Brandon they would do what was needed to remove the cancer, which could include the creation of cleft palate, the removal of his right eye, or removal part of his jaw and/or nose. The cancer was found on a single turbinate bone at the nasal area of the sinus and that bone was removed. The mucus membrane was stripped from the right maxillary sinus and sent to Pathology for microscopic examination. No other evidence of disease was discovered. We all breathed deep sighs of relief. Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month came and went without our realization that April was designated as such.

Then during an early August follow-up appointment, a resident palpated enlarged lymph nodes on the left side of Brandon's neck and found a "spot" at the back of his throat. A biopsy showed more of the same poorly differentiated, HPV-negative squamous cell cancer (SCC). A PET (positron emission tomography) scan found no other "hot spots" below the neck, so all felt positive as dove into the whirlwind of port (port-a-cath) insertion for chemotherapy, fitting for his specially molded radiation mask, and the two months of the common brutal treatment for most head and neck cancers -pinpointed radiation 5 days a week for 7 to 8 consecutive weeks combined with chemotherapy every 2 to 3 weeks. Radiation resulted in burns outside and in, affected and thickened mucus production, caused his sense of taste to change. Chemotherapy damaged his hearing, produced strange tastes in his mouth, upset his digestive system in all ways imaginable. He chose to wait and see if he'd need a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) feeding tube, which many, if not most, on the treatment journey for head and neck cancer now receive prior to treatment. None of us know how he continued to eat and drink throughout treatment, but he did, and he never shared how difficult it must have been. 

The post-treatment PET scan revealed new "hot spots" on a rib and his femur. He learned he was to become a father while undergoing radiation treatment for the new spots. The afternoon of his last radiation treatment, he hopped a jet to Paris to meet his wife, who was already there for business, for a long Easter weekend in the city of love and lights. They made the most of every moment. They welcomed daughter Morgan on December 3, 2011. Meanwhile, Brandon fought more and more "hot spots." Different forms of traditional and trial chemotherapy agents were tried. Each caused new and more uncomfortable side effects. None made an impact. He was fitted for a new radiation mask when "spots" appeared in his brain. The disease continued to march through his body, quickly overwhelming body systems. He died June 2, 2012. His father and I founded Brandon's Foundation the next day.

Head and neck cancer receives very little attention compared to many others. It is thought to be an old person's disease related to a lifetime of tobacco or alcohol use. However, the number of people affected by some form of head and neck cancer is growing and this growth is mainly among younger adults. Part of it is related to the same forms of HPV that cause most cervical cancer, but HPV does not account for many other cases. It is estimated that almost 46,000 will be diagnosed with some form of head and neck cancer during 2015 alone - that is about 125 persons each day being told they have this cancer. It's anticipated that more than 8600 of those journeying with head and neck in this country will die this year. 

Don't forget your own screening for head and neck cancer, as early detection can make the difference. Be sure a thorough head and neck cancer screening is part of every dental check up. If you're in the Cincinnati area, call (513) 475-8400 to reserve a spot for a free screening by the University of Cincinnati Health Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery at the Barrett Cancer Center Area F from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. on April 16. Last year the team performed approximately 230 screenings of which 17 required referred for follow up. 

Screening and early detection are only one part of the head and neck cancer picture. it is time to change the survival statistics and it is time for treatments that have fewer debilitating side effects. Only research can find the treatments and cures that will allow other families to never know the kind of loss we feel without Brandon in our lives. His Foundation's Request for Proposals was sent to researchers in February and many proposal submissions arrived by the March 27 deadline. Next week we begin sending these proposals out for "blind" reviewers by experts in the field of head and neck cancer. An announcement of the 2015 grant awards is to be made June 2, 2015 - the third anniversary of the date of Brandon's death.

PLEASE help us fund the research that will put an end to head and neck cancer. DONATE now so Brandon's Foundation may expand the number and amount of grant funding available for promising research projects. The next time you eat - the next time you enjoy the aroma and flavor of your food, the next time you don't have to even think about swallowing because your mouth is moist enough or your undamaged throat can easily pass food from your mouth down your throat to your stomach - think about Brandon and all those who are or have been on the head and neck cancer journey with him.



Thank you to all who have contributed to Brandon's Foundation, allowing us to award two grants during 2014! With your help Brandon's Foundation will be able to provide more grant funding in 2015!

There are no words to express what your support to fight this disease means to those who love and miss Brandon. 

A happy and healthy 2015 to you all!

Rusty Ball Special Guest: Taylor Dayne

If you are planning to purchase tickets naming Brandon's Foundation as beneficiary for the Rusty Ball 2014 to be November 8, please purchase tickets by next Monday, October 20! Brandon's Foundation earns an amount (after costs) per ticket purchased naming his Foundation as beneficiary; however, the number of tickets purchased by early next week will determine the number of auction items his Foundation may submit. For every 10 tickets purchased by the auction submission deadline next week, Brandon's Foundation may submit an additional auction item. Unlike ticket purchase, the foundation receives all of the proceeds associated with the auction items it submits.

Tickets are available through the Rusty Ball ticket page. Choose the level of tickets you would like to purchase and click Buy Tickets. On the next page, scroll to the Brandon C. Gromada Head & Neck Cancer Foundation, insert the number of tickets you'd like to purchase, and then scroll to the bottom and click Reserve Selected Tickets. After that, simply follow page directions! 

And now Cincinnati's biggest fundraising party just got bigger! The Rusty Ball announced that pop singer Taylor Dayne will be their special guest on stage November 8!

As a "thank you" for purchasing tickets to this years Rusty Ball and naming Brandon's Foundation as beneficiary, The National Exemplar announced that those presenting 2014 Rusty Ball tickets will receive $10 off two dinner entrees purchased in the restaurant, plus it will donate the net proceeds from your dinner(s) to the Brandon C. Gromada Head & Neck Cancer Foundation during the entire month of November 2014!

Thank you again for helping Brandon's Foundation end head and neck cancers through research! 

August 27, 2014

Cincinnati’s biggest 50th Anniversary Celebration of the August 27, 1964 Beatles concert at Cincinnati Gardens and all things Beatlemania happens only two days from today - Wednesday August 27, 2014 at Oakley’s 20th Century Theater!

Party like it’s 1964 AND help fund research to end head and neck cancer!

A number of questions have have been asked about event details:


Q: What should I do if I have trouble purchasing tickets at CincyTicket?

A: Call the CincyTicket number at 888-428-7311. If no one answers the phone, leave a voice mail and your call will be returned as soon as possible.


Q: What if I’m not sure if I can go until the day of FAB 4 A CURE?

A: Tickets may be purchased at the door IF any remain. To check the availability of tickets the day of the event, call 513-325-2550 or the number for the 20th Century Theater 513-731-8000 on Wednesday, August 27, 2014. (Prior to August 27, call CincyTicket at the number above.)


Q: What if I can’t get to FAB 4 A CURE when it begins at 3:00 p.m.? May I go only for the evening, since I have to work next Wednesday, August 27, 2014?

A: Of course! Go whenever you’re able to get there! Your ticket is good for the entire program, but many attendees are coming only for the evening because of work schedules. Even if you can’t get there until the evening, you’ll be there for plenty of live music, behind-the-scenes details about the Beatles 1964 USA summer tour, Tarot card readings, and silent auction and raffle action!

See the schedule of events and click links to learn more about author Ken Womack, the Good Ol’ Freda documentary, former WSAI Good Guy Dusty Rhodes, and bands The Remains and Glory Days at this web site's Upcoming Events page. Also, check the Foundation’s Facebook page for updates.  


Q: Will my friends and I feel isolated if we purchase Balcony seats?

A: No! In many ways, you’ll have some of the best seats in the theater! There is a bar with bar table seating, a restroom, and a conversation area on the balcony floor behind the seating.


Q: What time is valet parking available? I plan to be there for the afternoon as well as evening. Will valet parking be available the entire day and evening?

A: Yes! Valet parking will be available before 3:00 p.m. and through the entire event. (Ticket purchase covers valet parking, but it does not include a gratuity.)


Q: How will the silent auction and raffle run?

A: When you check in at the Registration table, you will receive an envelope with color-coded wrist-band(s) (based on ticket type), a program of events that includes a list of auction and raffle items, AND a number that you should use if you choose to bid on silent auction items, place on raffle tickets or sign up for a Tarot card reading.


Q: How much of the price of the event ticket is considered tax deductible?

A: It varies depending on ticket level. However, scroll down at the event's page at CincyTicket for information about the amount available for the different ticket levels.


Other Questions? Send additional questions via the Contact Us page.

See you Wednesday, August 27th!

Schwartz Jewelers Dragonfly Pendant

Thinking of Graduation, Father’s Day, Birthdays or stocking up on early Christmas gifts? Purchase items at Schwartz Jewelers from June 1st through 10th and a third of the profit from your purchases will be donated to Brandon’s Foundation!  Schwartz Jewelers is located in the College Hill area and has been serving the greater Cincinnati area for more than 70 years. They carry jewelry of all types, including a large estate jewelry collection, watches, collectibles and giftware. Schwartz Jewelers also designs jewelry. (They created the dragonfly pendant in the photo, which Brandon’s mother received last June from his father to mark one year since Brandon’s death.)

Schwartz Jewelers is located at 6114 Hamilton Avenue, 45224. Phone (513) 541-5627 or email

Their hours are: Monday-Wednesday & Friday: 9:00 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. • Thursday: 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. • Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

You MUST ask for Dave, Marty or Andrea Schwartz and mention Brandon's Foundation if your purchase is to "count."