About BMF page


The Brian Morden Foundation was created to honor Brian, a courageous 19 year old, who battled Ewing's Sarcoma for more than two years. He lost the battle on February 15, 2003, but his family, friends, and many others who only knew Brian by reputation have vowed to continue the fight against this horrible disease.

The foundation has three goals:

  • Fund Ewing's Sarcoma and childhood cancer research.
  • Support patients, family, and staff of pediatric oncology units*
  • Provide funding for "Brian Morden Memorial" higher education scholarships

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The Brian Morden Foundation and countless others are grieving the deaths of two of our “BMF kids,” Madison Grace Shura and Emma Auker. They were both courageous in their battle and will be missed immeasurably.



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In Memory of Madison Grace Shura
April 7, 2009 - April 14, 2017

Madison Grace Shura, 8, Tipton, passed away Friday afternoon at her home in the arms of her parents.

She was born in Roaring Spring daughter of Jason F. and Kelly L. (Holdren) Shura. Surviving are her parents of Tipton; a sister, Elizabeth Anne “Libby” at home; paternal grandparents, Donald and Cecelia Shura of Bellwood; maternal grandfather, Terry Holdren of Tyrone; Uncle Brian and Aunt Chrissy Shura of Tipton, Aunt Heather Shura of Bellwood, Uncle Corey and Aunt Kasey Hudson of Tipton and Aunt Katrina Holdren of Pittsburgh; cousins, Hunter and Blake Shura and Shayne Holdren; and special friends, John, Allison, Abby and Carter Clabaugh. She was preceded in death by maternal grandmother, Marge Holdren.

Madison was a second grade student at Myers Elementary School Bellwood and a member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Altoona. She loved being a girl scout, cheering with the Bellwood Antis High School and East Antis Rams cheer teams, and dancing with the Dance Fusion Dance Company. Madison enjoyed running in 5K races, playing musical instruments, singing and attending school. She loved to cuddle, go fishing with her daddy, vacation in Canada, and playing with her sister, cousins and friends. Madison’s favorite color was pink and she loved unicorns, butterflies, princesses and glitter.

Friends will be received from 12 noon -4pm & 6-9pm Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at Jon C. Russin Funeral Home, Inc. Bellwood where a vigil for the deceased will also be held. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11am Thursday, April 20, 2017 at Saint Mark’s Catholic Church, Altoona, Rev. Ronald V. Osinski, celebrant. Private committal rites will be at Blair Memorial Park Antis Township.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in Madison’s memory be made to Home Nursing Agency Hospice, Altoona or Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation (www.defeatDIPG.org) PO Box 34277 Bethesda, Md. 20827


In Memory of Emma Nicole Auker
September 30, 1999 - April 17, 2017

Emma Nicole Auker, 17, Altoona, passed away peacefully on Monday at her residence after a long battle with brain cancer.

She was born in Altoona, daughter of Scott and Kimberly (Barroner) Auker. Surviving are her parents; two sisters: Hillary Auker of Boston, Mass., and Sophie Auker of Altoona; her paternal grandparents: George and Anlee Auker of Altoona; her maternal grandfather, John Barroner of Hollidaysburg; her maternal grandmother, Susan Conrad of Altoona; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins; her two dogs: Hazel and Molly; and her cat, Kitty.

Emma was a junior at Altoona Area High School, and she had worked at Marzoni’s Brick Oven & Brewing Co., Greenwood, and DelGrosso’s Amusement Park, Tipton. She was a member of the AAHS cheerleading squad, as well as the gymnastics team, chorus and dance club. She enjoyed going to concerts, dancing and hanging out with her friends and family.

Friends will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 20, 2017, at The Good Funeral Home Inc., Alto-Reste Park. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 21, 2017, at Pleasant Valley Assembly of God, 1001 S. First St., Altoona.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Brian Morden Foundation, care of Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation, 1330 11th Ave., Altoona, PA 16601.


Emma and Maddie both stood up to cancer with such courage and spirit. In the final analysis cancer DID NOT win the battle. We look forward to the day when we will see them again and hope at that time we can tell them there is no more cancer on Earth. <3

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Brian Morden Memorial Scholarship
Winner to be announced soon!
Please email applications to:

Thanks Grammy and PopPop for your yearly birthday gift to Brian
and the BMF, ensuring that we will be able to award
a Brian Morden Memorial Scholarship.

Thank you to those who organized and participated
in the Erin Dodson Scholarship Fund Basket Raffle in September 2016
and others who have generously given
so that we will be able to award
additional scholarships this year.

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February 15, 2017 - Remembering Brian, his life, and those he loved
                        who continue to support local children with cancer,
                        pediatric oncology units at PA Children's Hospitals,
                        award higher education scholarships,
                        and fund promising research studies through
                        The Brian Morden Foundation.

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The Brian Morden Foundation and Alex's Lemonade Stand
Team Up to Fund Childhood Cancer Research

February 15, 2016
13 years after Brian passed away from Ewing’s Sarcoma, cancer has not won the battle. Brian’s legacy continues through the lives of many others. The Brian Morden Foundation is excited and grateful to be able to announce a partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
Initially, we will be helping to fund a promising research study by John Bushweller, PhD, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Cancer WILL NOT win.

For more information, please see the press release.

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BMF 2016 Collage

November/December Holiday Newsletter

August 2016 Newsletter

Happy New Year 2016 Newsletter

BMF Newsletter - Season's Greetings 2015

October's Newsletter 2015

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Happy 33rd Birthday, Brian
Brian in 1984
January 10, 1984


Please sign our guestbook to help us celebrate his life.

Free Guestbook from Bravenet

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YOU can make a difference
in the lives of the innocent children and families
who have to suffer with this horrendous disease.

Some suggestions from the Brian Morden Foundation:
  • Send cards to children with cancer. Contact the BMF for addresses.
  • Donate to the Brian Morden Foundation through our website.
    You will be helping to fight back against childhood cancer.
  • Adopt "Issy" to send to a childhood cancer patient, give to a loved one, or keep for yourself.

  • Help Issy spread the word about the need for childhood cancer research!
  • Support the BMF through the purchase of an ornament or other merchandise
  • Attend any upcoming BMF event!

Please see our National Childhood Cancer Awareness page to find out more.

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*Brian was lovingly cared for at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, the initial focus of the second BMF goal. We still plan to contribute in important ways to the oncology unit there, however, we have expanded our outreach with Brian Baskets and "Issy" bears, sending them to other pediatric cancer patients especially to those in the Altoona Area, Janet Weis Children's Hospital in Geisinger, Penn State Children's Hospital in Hershey, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where some of our area children are being treated. We have also tried to brighten up the day for some children from the Ewing's Sarcoma list serv. If you know a child with cancer who could use a "pick-me-up," please contact us at fdj@brianmordenfoundation.org. We hope to be able to help as many pediatric oncology patients as possible.

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Join our mailing list for newsletters and other updates.

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Contact The Brian Morden Foundation at dbjmorden@brianmordenfoundation.org

last updated 4/19/17