The Magnolia Tree Grant

The Magnolia Tree Foundation, is an organization whose mission is to educate and provide financial assistance to those affected by the BRCA genetic mutation. The Magnolia Tree Grant is a specialty Family Building Grant to offer financial assistance to those who wish to undergo IVF-PGT (in vitro fertilization with pre-implantation genetic testing for BRCA) or freeze eggs for medical fertility preservation. Eligible individuals must be a carrier of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation and reside in Illinois.

About The Magnolia Tree Foundation

The Magnolia Tree Foundation was the vision of Alexa Rodheim Cutler, a treasured wife, daughter, sister and friend. She was a devoted English teacher and coach at Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove, Illinois. Alexa passed away in March 2016 after a courageous, two-year battle with triple negative breast cancer. She was 29 years old.

After her diagnosis, Alexa learned that she carried the hereditary BRCA1 genetic mutation. This lead to the discovery that other family members carried the same mutation, which allowed them the opportunity to be proactive regarding their health. Prior to starting chemotherapy, Alexa went through egg retrieval with the hope that, when the timing was right, she could undergo IVF-PGT and eliminate the possibility of passing the BRCA genetic mutation on to her children.

In Alexa’s immediate family, four siblings tested positive. Two sisters have since had risk-reducing bilateral mastectomies and will continue to undergo surveillance, along with Alexa’s two brothers, indefinitely. Only one sibling in six tested negative.

Alexa and two of her sisters, Aubrie and Hannah

Alexa and two of her sisters,
Aubrie and Hannah

This discovery was the defining point of Alexa’s legacy. As an educator, Alexa was passionate about sharing her knowledge so that those at risk could be tested and elect to take measures to avoid a cancer diagnosis. It was of utmost importance to Alexa to know that her ability to persevere in the face of this adversity enabled others to do the same in whatever way they found applicable to their own lives. Even after her passing, her life lessons continue to inspire and empower all who knew her.

For additional information regarding The Magnolia Tree Foundation, visit our website at themagnoliatreefoundation.org.

Alexa Rodheim Cutler

Alexa Rodheim Cutler

How to Apply

Those interested in applying for a Magnolia Tree Foundation grant should send an email to grants@coalitionforfamilybuilding.org to request an application. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis by the Coalition for Family Building Medical Advisory Board and Executive Board. All grants are to be used only towards future cost/services and cannot be used retroactively. The number of grants will vary each year and are contingent upon fundraising donations.