“Let us tell you about Lanette, the Founder and President of the Gray Matters Foundation. We are her friends and supporters.”

Lanette Veres was born in and grew up in Arizona, where the GrayMatters Foundation is based. After graduating from Maryvale High School she began her career in the banking industry. She married and became a mother of two children – a son and daughter. It was in August of 1998, as a single mom, that her journey in life took her in a startling and unexpected direction.

After seeking answers to the cause of the headaches and fatigue she’d been experiencing for over six months, Lanette was diagnosed with an Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma. Her physician’s initial concerns were confirmed after an MRI and biopsy of the tumor which was removed in her first craniotomy.

The biopsy put a type and name to the mass that had been found in her right temporal lobe. In the time between then and 2007, Lanette would undergo 4 more surgeries.

The only prior knowledge Lanette had of brain tumors was when her dear grandmother, Iris Kirk, fell victim 6 years prior to a GBM (Glioblastoma Multiforme). Grandma Kirk was Lanette’s best friend and losing her to a brain tumor was a crushing blow to the heart, to say the least. Following her diagnosis, Lanette understood first hand what her grandmother had faced. She herself, now faced the possibility of dying, but prayed her own children would not be left without their mommy.

Prior to her diagnosis, Lanette had worked as a top-performing banking relationship manager. After her diagnosis, her focus shifted and her priorities changed. Now she would take the same skills that she’d put to meeting the needs of her bank clients and use them for a different purpose. A new path opened and Lanette’s mission became clear: to support other people facing this challenging and often difficult disease.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
– Psalms 119:105

In 2001, Lanette sent her first gift package to a brain tumor patient. For those who know her like we do, it will be no surprise that she did so after attending a brain tumor conference while on her honeymoon! She hasn’t stopped sending her cards, gifts and goodies to patients and their loved ones since – and the numbers keep growing!

To see the gifts, cards and packages Lanette sends out is to understand the meaning of the Gray Matters Foundation. They are bright, colorful, joyful and cheerful, with stickers bearing the Foundation’s trademark turtle with her tongue sticking out…because brain tumors stink!

“A friend loves at all times.”
– Proverbs 17:17

Sending a gift is not what defines Lanette, though; ask anyone who knows her. Lanette is more than a package with a pretty ribbon. She is a vibrantly upbeat and positive person who cares deeply about giving and helping others. Ask any of her friends, colleagues, board members or family. For that matter, ask anyone who knows her at all! Spend only a short time with her and it’s easy to see that her belief that a positive attitude can do good things is contagious and her caring for others is motivating. It makes all of us want to give and do more.

5 Comments

  1. Vanesa Doty on August 14, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Hello, My name is Vanesa Doty and I lost my brother 3 weeks ago. He was 43 years old and he was fighting GBM grade 4 since March 28 2014.
    I live in Colorado and I would like this foundation to support me to create a Brain Tumor awareness license plate in the state of Colorado. Once I have your support, I will collect 3,000 signatures to get it approved.
    Please help me to make this happen, thank you!

    • Lanette on August 26, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      Hi Vanessa,

      I am in Arizona not Colorado so not sure how I would help. What is involved? I have had other friends attempt this in other states not sure how it turned out. I am interested in hearing what is involved but can’t promise we can help. All involvement is put before the board. We must make sure it is inline with our mission.

      I look forward do hearing from you. My email is Lanette@graymattersfoundation.org

  2. Sue Finn on March 27, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Hi Lanette!
    It was great to meet you in San Diego! I’ve been checking out this site. It’s wonderful and you all seem to be doing such great work. I know Wayne would be impressed. Don’t forget about me if you need anything on this end. Keep going!

    • Donna Arnold on September 24, 2020 at 7:12 pm

      Hello Lanette,
      I was diagnosed with the same kind of tumors that you have on the end of July 2020. I’ve already had surgery to remove one about the size of my fist. There is another one but they are hoping that the chemo and radiation I’m taking right now will take care of at least for right now. It was inspirational to me at how long you have been in remission. I’m taking this one day at a time and always tell everyone I’m doing great when I’m asked. I just wanted to thank you for your story. I’m not ready to go yet but if God calls me home I am not arguing with him! lol. No matter how ready to think you are it is still scary and plus I have a granddaughter I would love to watch grow up. Plus my baby girl is due in 2months to have her baby girl. I would love to watch her grow up too. God bless you n your family.

      • Lanette on October 18, 2020 at 4:23 pm

        Hi , I am so glad you have a great attitude My drive FOR SURVIVAL was my two children.They were 8 and 9 when I was dx and they are 30 and 31 now. So if it is the grandbabies KEEP ON KEEPING ON.

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