Hello #MNMOtv followers! Today’s guest is @Vruno (Kristine Vruno Huson), and we don’t want to keep her waiting, so lets start!
Tell us a little bit about your background. Where did you grow up, go to school and what did you want to be when you grew up?
Kristine: Grew up in S. St. Paul, (Go Packers). Wanted 2B marine biologist to dive w/great white sharks; still want to do that
So would you say you’re an adventurer, you like to face danger or that you like challenges?
Kristine: Not an adrenaline junkie, but have done some brave things, I suppose. Being “arctic warrior” in Army in Alaska, might qualify
I suppose having some courage in my blood helps me when I meet kids who are dying of cancer & their parents
I would also say that I love challenges – hoping to help docs cure cancer, or make progress on that monster problem, is one
Lets talk about the work that you do. How did you get involved with being a fundraiser for children with cancer?
Kristine: Childhood cancer research was my women’s fraternity’s chosen cause so I fundraised while in college at University of North Dakota
So I have always admired @childrenscancer, so pursued a position here & am very impressed by the work of this organization
Children’s Cancer Research Fund provides $millions in seed grants for innovative “proof of principal” studies
What are some of the ways that you and @childrenscancer are able to get contributions to help with valuable research.
Kristine: This proof of principal research oft attracts other funding from NIH, NCI & other nonprofits. Our ROI is $1 we give turns into $18
Our researcher turned our $10K seed grant into $3.5M in NIH funding. Our $100K grant for brain tumor research got $3.9M That’s ROI!
Besides seed grants we fill in gaps of funding for capital expenditures, underwrite quality-of-life programs @UofMChildrens..
We fund SIX endowed chairs at U of MN – that’s the most by any philanthropic organization giving to the U! We are very vital to U.
Raising money for this is great, but it sounds like you’ve been able to interact with some who’ve been helped too right?
Kristine: Indeed, it’s sharing stories of kids affected by our research, the young patients & their families, that is my most important role.
I sat in hospital, w/young man who battling neuroblastoma for 3rd time while he had is final, last ditch, stem cell rescue
This kid died, & can’t bring myself 2 delete emails he send 2 me along the way. His mom & I still correspond. In his memory I work!
I take it personally when we lose a child we’ve worked with. #Cancer is the devil & I’ll fight it as long as I have fight in me
Wow! You are obviously very passionate about your work! :) In addition to your work, any other passions that you have?
Kristine: I consider myself an “art patron” & my art of choice is local, indie music. I also try to invest in visual artists too when I can
Rocking out at a gig helps me blow of steam from my sometimes emotionally taxing vocation
We have an embarrassment of riches of art in the Twin Cities, we are so lucky! Get out there & be an art patron & support the arts!
I also have a 14 yo son who keeps me on my toes.
Would you also say that you’re a fashionista as well? What kinds of things are you drawn to?
Kristine: I would be in denial if I didn’t say that I love my vintage dresses & coats. It’s my contribution to keeping the planet greener
If you haven’t been to Lula in St. Paul & met Hayley Bush, you’re missing out. She is clothing whisperer! Beautiful vintage there!
To close, do you have any favorite eateries or shops that you like frequent locally that you care to share?
Kristine: Love chef-driven indie restaurants serving local fare. Adore Moscow on the Hill, WA Frosts, Saffron. Lula, Blacklist 4 Vintage
I love getting lost at the Goodwill & Savers. Find lots of designer treasures there. Found a suede Celine coat for $6!
Joel Carlson: Thank you VERY MUCH for all that you do to help people with cancer! Thanks also for being a #MNMOtv guest today. Good work! :)