Our Causes & Impact

 

Childhood brain tumors are complicated to diagnose, treat and monitor.  Even successful treatment leads to a lifetime of late effects.  Our fundraising efforts provide much needed support to tailor more precise protocol for each patient with a focus on the most common brain tumor Medulloblastoma.   The areas of focus include:

 

  • Early identification

  • Pediatric neurosurgery

  • Radiation therapy planning & treatment

  • Precision diagnosis (cellular & molecular pathology, genetics)

  • Hematology & oncology therapy protocols

  • Rehabilitation and nutrition

  • Family mentoring & support 

  • Integrative oncology  

 

100% of donations go directly toward research in these areas

Currently only 4% of National Institute of Health (NIH) funds are allocated to pediatric cancer.  Of this, only 1% of NIH funds are directed to Pediatric Brain Tumor Research. 

In 2018, the Childhood Cancer STAR ACT passed, in part due to advocacy of our partner organizations. This is a major milestone, but only one step to getting Closer to the Cure and increasing the quality of life for survivors.   Every donation and moment of advocacy helps!  

What is Medulloblastoma?

Medulloblastoma is the most prevalent type of childhood brain cancers.  It is fast growing, but if caught in time, with aggressive treatment, can be treated. 

       Medulloblastoma tumors often originate in the cerebellum or the posterior fossa (back of the brain). Like other brain tumors, Medulloblastoma can spread to other locations in the brain and spinal cord.  

     Treatment consists of surgery through the back of the head to remove the tumor, followed by radiation to the brain & spine (if the child is old enough), and a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs over 6-15 months depending on the specific type of tumor.  

     Prognosis is highly varied by subtype, but in aggregate viewed as favorable. Certain genetic and tumor location profiles can have poor or favorable prognosis, however these markers account for a minority of children diagnosed with Medulloblastoma today.  Most kids are "in the middle", because we do not know enough about how the tumors work to classify them.

     For children that do survive Medulloblastoma, they must constantly wrestle with the late-onset effects from the aggressive treatment regimen received.  More research funding into the area of tumor classification will allow for less aggressive, more precision treatments.  Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy each bring their own risks and complications as survivors grow up.  These complications can include neurological deficits, hearing loss, growth & hormone imbalances, reduced fertility, and other cancers.  

    

Impact Reports