ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A grant inspired by Chad Carr will help scientists at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital advance research on the aggressive brain tumor that took Chad’s life.
The $200,000 grant in Chad’s memory from The V Foundation for Cancer Research was funded through the Dick Vitale Gala and will support studies on DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). U-M teams will generate and study subjects with DIPG tumors, collect data, and perform drug screening and testing of the newest, most promising therapies available.
Brain tumors are the leading cause of death from childhood cancer, and the most dreaded type is DIPG – which stems from the region of the brain that controls vital functions such as breathing and heart rate. Research has proven that chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, which together have been the foundation for cancer therapy advances during the last two decades, are not effective against DIPG.
More than 90 percent of children diagnosed with DIPG die within 18 months.
“Research aimed at uncovering cures for this devastating disease is woefully underfunded,” says Valerie Opipari, M.D., a pediatric oncologist and chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
“We are grateful to The V Foundation for helping us improve our understanding of DIPG and develop better treatments to offer families faced with this unimaginable diagnosis.”
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, the Foundation has funded more than $150 million in cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations to cancer research and related programs.
Vitale, who has raised millions of dollars over the years to fight pediatric cancer, was inspired by Chad Carr’s story after meeting Chad’s mom Tammi at a Michigan basketball game in January.
“Innovative and promising work is being done at University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital,” says Susan Braun, Chief Executive Officer of The V Foundation. “Children will benefit greatly from this research, and we look forward to the time when DIPG is a thing of the past.”