Research is the only hope
Kids are 25% of the population. Yet they get
of research funding.
Although children account for 25% of the population, only 10% of research funding goes to child health. But the next ten years will see more advances in healthcare than the last century combined.
With government research dollars dwindling, each philanthropic dollar you give serves as a springboard and can attract 7 to 10 additional dollars in public funding to help families for whom research is their only hope. Support these families today.
Support families like Karl's
Karl didn’t know it at the time, but at 6 years old, he was about to become a very special kid. He was one of the first patients in the world to benefit from an experimental treatment to fight a type of brain tumour that is usually difficult to treat.
During a family vacation in the Laurentians, Karl started experiencing pain and numbness in his arm after playing outside. Believing it to be a strained muscle, the doctor at the local hospital gave them a referral to the Children’s orthopedics clinic.
They did not get the diagnosis they were expecting. Rather, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan revealed that Karl had a tumour situated in his brainstem and spinal cord. “It was a shock. Something simply unconceivable,” remembers his mom, Josée.
They then consulted Dr. Jean-Pierre Farmer, a world-renown neurosurgeon and director of two chairs created thanks to donations to the Foundation. Dr. Farmer’s first instinct was to determine if Karl had a ganglioglioma, one of the most common types of brain tumours, which can cause seizures, fatigue and weakness on one side of the body as it grows.
For the past two years, Dr. Farmer had been working with hematologist-oncologist and eminent researcher Dr. Jabado, whose work is funded by donors. Dr. Jabado had shared her team’s surprising new discovery with Dr. Farmer: the majority of gangliogliomas share a common mutation with a certain type of melanoma. Since the melanoma responded to an existing drug therapy, the doctors decided to start treating children with gangliogliomas using the same drug.
“Two patients at the Children’s had already followed the treatment, but as a final recourse, after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy had failed,” explains Dr. Jabado. Karl used the drug as his primary treatment, thus avoiding major after-effects.
“Even with surgery, the tumour could have grown back,” says Dr. Farmer. “The surgery would also have required an extensive incision that might have destabilized Karl’s cervical vertebral column.”
Karl started his treatment, a pill taken orally twice a day, after Dr. Farmer performed a biopsy, which confirmed the tumour was a ganglioglioma with the particular mutation. Since then, his tumour has decreased in size by 85 percent, he has regained the use of his right hand and is back in school. Part of the treatment, which cost $9,000 per month, was paid for thanks to your donations to the Foundation.
This is how your support and medical advances work together to improve patient care. Long live this winning partnership!