The Chad Tough Fund

Chad Carr
 Chad Carr

University of Michigan Pediatric Brain Cancer Research Initiative

In September 2014, we found out that a precious, beautiful, fun-loving little boy, was diagnosed with a rare, inoperable brain tumor and given an earth-shattering prognosis, just three days before his fourth birthday. Because of Chad Carr, we clung together as a community in support of a beloved University of Michigan family. We hugged our children tighter. We spread the word about diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG. We instantly became #ChadTough.

Learn more about Chad's Story

Chad lost his battle to DIPG at age 5 in 2015, only 15 months after his diagnosis – but not before capturing much needed attention for DIPG and the extreme need for progress in pediatric brain cancer research.

Today Chad’s memory lives on through the many people who’ve committed to making real change happen. In his honor, thanks to the support of several generous donors, the U-M Health System has established The University of Michigan Pediatric Brain Cancer Research Initiative so that no more families suffer through such a loss without hope.

U-M is committed to building a world-class research program to improve our understanding, develop better treatments, and advance science toward improved survival and cures for children with brain cancer. Poised for rapid success, the focus is on a number of novel areas of investigation, including precision oncology, immunology, cellular therapy, biology and therapeutics and clinical trials.

Looking ahead, U-M aims to significantly expand its clinical and research capacity to become a national center of excellence for pediatric brain cancer within five years. We invite you to join the initiative, in memory of Chad and all families touched by pediatric brain cancer, to move this transformative work forward. The impact will be immeasurable.

Make a Gift

Pediatric Brain Cancer By the Numbers

  • Too many families suffer an immeasurable toll. Each year, 13,000+ parents hear the words “your child has cancer.” 1 out of 5 of these kids don’t survive and brain tumors are the leading cause. DIPG, in particular, has zero long-term survivors.
  • There’s still no cure. While progress has been made in curing some childhood cancers, much of the treatment for pediatric brain tumors hasn’t changed in 40+ years.
  • Not enough research is being done. Only 3 percent of federal funding for cancer research goes toward solving pediatric cancers. And, pediatric brain cancers receive just a sliver of these limited funds because they’re considered “rare” by medical statistics.
  • Pediatric brain tumor research can open new avenues of treatment for other childhood and adult cancers. What we uncover about rare cancers like DIPG will shed light on the genetic defects and cellular behavior of all cancers.

To learn more about the initiative, including the different options available to make a gift to support pediatric brain cancer research, please contact:

Maria Bertram
University of Michigan Health System
Office of Development
734-763-6184
mgrupe@umich.edu