Michael & Rebecca Neidorf
Heart of the Brain Foundation
L to R: Michael Neidorf, Isabel Neidorf, Becky Neidorf
- Special Section
Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization Heart of the Brain was formed in 2018 by Michael and Becky Neidorf with a mission to find a cure for brain cancer. Their daughter, Isabel, was 4 years old when she was diagnosed with a rare and inoperable oligodendroglioma brain tumor in 2003. She has endured thousands of seizures over her lifetime, causing learning disabilities and cognitive delays.
Now age 23, Isabel has persevered thanks to the cutting-edge treatments at UCLA. Heart of the Brain fundraises to support research at UCLA’s Brain Tumor Center, with the goal of developing earlier detection techniques, discovering new and improved treatments, and ultimately preventing the disease altogether. Colette Weintraub works with the Neidorf family as executive director of Heart of the Brain.
Why does heart of the brain foundation support the UCLA Brain Tumor Center?
“We are trying to bring more awareness to this disease. We don’t know how much it’s going to take, but what we do know is to do nothing is unacceptable. The work at UCLA has kept our daughter alive for 18 years.”
What have been your proudest moments during the recent crisis?
“We still had tremendous support in spite of a worldwide pandemic and raised more than $400,000 last year. Hopefully we will reach $500,000 this year.”
What are some ways we can all be of help to others as the holiday season approaches?
“We believe that it’s important to give back and pay it forward. We are a young and emerging nonprofit foundation with a big heart and an even bigger goal. Together we can make a difference and help support the doctors who work hard on behalf of patients to find a cure. Every dollar brings us one step closer, and we are very grateful for the help of our supporters. Thanks to the generosity of our corporate partners, 100% of your donation goes to brain cancer research and treatment.”
Tell us about a local hero.
“Our brave hero is our daughter, Isabel. She is the driving force for our foundation, the best gift we ever received and our inspiration. She has been an active participant in our foundation, and for the past five years during the holidays she has provided gifts for the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. Isabel recently graduated from the Pathway at UCLA Extension, an educational program for students with intellectual and other developmental challenges.”