Your Money at Work
Learn how the Keira Kilbane Foundation utilizes donations.
Funding Childhood Cancer Research
Since our inception, the Keira Kilbane Foundation has provided $30,000 to the Keira Kilbane Cancer Discovery Fund established at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Agne Petrosiute
The Keira Kilbane Cancer Discovery Fund is pleased to announce that in December 2017 we awarded another $10,000 to support Agne Petrosiute, MD, and her effort exploiting key protein Cdk5 in the development of immunotherapeutic approaches to treat childhood cancer. In 2016 we awarded a grant of $10,000.
Dr. Petrosiute completed her fellowship at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's and rose through the ranks of fellow, instructor, and now Assistant Professor since 2009. Dr. Petrosiute and Dr. Alex Huang have obtained several grants together. Most recently, they have co-senior authored a major breakthrough paper published in the journal, Science, in July, detailing a paradigm-shifting discovery of how Cdk5 is involved in tumor cell evasion of the immune system.
On a personal note, Dr. Petrosiute was one of the physicians involved in treating our hero Keira so we know this money will go to good use.
The money would allow Dr. Petrosiute to buy reagents and equipments and utilize University Core facilities.
Dr. Irina Pateva
Dr. Irina Pateva was selected as the first recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Keira Kilbane Cancer Discovery Fund. The grant will allow her to analyze the link between Cdk5 and leukemia using samples not just from UH Rainbow patients, but patient samples obtained from the Children’s Oncology Group (COG).
Dr. Kristen VanHeyst
The Keira Kilbane Cancer Discovery Fund is pleased to announce that in December 2018 we awarded $5,000 to support Kristen VanHeyst, DO and her effort using an anti-α4 monoclonal antibody for the treatment of recurrent, refractory or progressive pulmonary metastatic osteosarcoma in children, adolescents, and young adults.
Dr. VanHeyst is currently a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellow at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. She is also a member of Dr. Alex Huang’s lab. Together, they designed a Phase I/II clinical trial using an anti-α4 monoclonal antibody for the treatment of recurrent, refractory or progressive pulmonary metastatic osteosarcoma in children, adolescents and young adults. The grant will support funding for the trial and be used to pursue further preclinical experiments supporting the use of the medication for this purpose.
In December 2019, the Keira Kilbane Cancer Discovery Fund approved the following recommendations by Alex Huang:
- Allocate $10,000 to Dr. Yamilet Huerta who is the newest attending and is doing research in new therapies for leukemia (AML) over 1 year.
- Have a named summer research fellow (undergrad or medical student) to be named in the first 5 months of 2020, a $1,250/month stipend for 2 months ($2,500 total).
- Allocate $5,000 to a new Peds Heme/Onc Fellow to be named by May 2020 to support his/her research over 1 year.
- Allocate $3,000 a year to support attendings/fellows in the Pediatric Cancer Division to attend national meetings such as ASPHO (peds heme/onc annual meeting), ASH, AACR, CRI, AAI or ASCO meeting.
Providing Financial Assistance To Families Impacted By Childhood Cancer
The Keira Kilbane Foundation has provided $32,800 in financial assistance to support fourteen families in need.
Quinn was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in the end of 2014. Quinn's dad had to stop working to help take care of Quinn because Quinn's mom was pregnant and unable to be around Quinn due to the chemotherapy he was receiving. We provided them financial assistance to help relieve some of the financial burden they experienced due to his treatment and diagnosis
Kendall was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis when she was only four months old (back in 2011). Kendall found out that she needed to undergo additional treatment in later 2015 (shortly before Christmas). Her mother had to quit her job yet again to be able to take Kendall to her appointments. Therefore we provided them with financial assistance to help relieve some of the financial burden and try to help their family have a good Christmas.
Vito (also known as Valient Vito) who was diagnosed with a type of brain cancer called Medulloblastoma in August 2014. He battled valiantly, but sadly passed away in December 2015. We provided his parents with financial assistance to help offset funeral and treatment expenses.
Jack was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in June 2014 at age two. Jack will be completing his 3 years of treatment in September 2017. Jack's treatment has involved frequent outpatient clinic visits and inpatient stays due to side effects. His mother was unable to work during inpatient stays which made it difficult to stay on top of expenses. We provided them financial assistance to help relieve some of the financial burden they experienced due to his treatment and diagnosis.
Michael was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at 19 years old in January 2017. He is currently in treatment at Akron Children's Hospital for his childhood cancer and is unable to work due to his treatments. He has encountered several complications along they way and the Keira Kilbane Foundation wanted to help by providing financial assistance to help offset medical expenses and the fact that Michael is unable to work.
In November 2016 the Keira Kilbane Foundation provided financial assistance to a Rainbow family that recently lost their 15 year old daughter to brain cancer. The Social Worker at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital reached out to us about this family in need. Funds will help offset some of the funeral expenses and medical expenses incurred during her treatment.
In November 2017, the Keira Kilbane Foundation provided financial assistance to the to the family of a 20 year old male that passed away from a brain/spinal tumor. He was treated at the Cleveland Clinic and we received a referral from the Social Worker at the Hospice of the Western Reserve. He was diagnosed at two year's old with neurofibromatosis. Two years ago he developed a brain tumor with metastases to the spine and eventually passed away on October 23, 2017. The family needed assistance with funeral expenses.
In January 2018, the Keira Kilbane Foundation provided financial assistance to
the family of a 11 year old boy that passed away from a brain tumor. He was
treated at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and we received a referral
from the Social Worker at the Hospice of the Western Reserve. He was
diagnosed at 2 years old and had 9 brain surgeries. His mom was not able to
work due to caring for him. The family needed assistance with funeral expenses.
In April 2019, the Hospice of the Western Reserve reached out on behalf of Clare, a 3 year old patient with a DIPG brain tumor. She was diagnosed at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in June 2018. This type of cancer is inoperable and without a cure. On the day she was diagnosed she was also given a referral to Hospice care since this is a terminal cancer. Her mom and dad had limited ability to work due to her care and prognosis. The financial assistance the Keira Kilbane Foundation provided assisted with rent expenses.
In July 2019, the Hospice of the Western Reserve made a referral on behalf of Armoni, a 17 year old with osteosarcoma. Armoni was diagnosed at 13 years old and was treated at the Cleveland Clinic. At 17 years old, the cancer spread to her lungs and femur. Her dad died when she wa very young so her mom was handling the expenses alone and had to stop working to be home to care for her daughter. We provided assistance to help with rent expenses. Sadly, Armoni passed away in June 2019.
In August 2019, the Hospice of the Western Reserve reached out on behalf of a 14 month old with a high grade astrocytoma. She was diagnosed at Akron Children's Hospital in February 2019 and was moved to Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital for treatment. She had a shunt placed and completed one cycle of chemo, but had so many side effects her parents decided not to pursue further treatment due to the poor prognosis. They opted to focus on quality of life and making memories with their daughter which impacted their ability to work and pay bills. She was admitted to hospice care on 7/10/19. The money we provided helped cover their rent, car payment, utility bills, and provided some additional money towards funeral expenses.
We have also committed to donate $25,000 over five years to be used towards the creation of the new inpatient pediatric oncology unit at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. That amount has been matched by an anonymous donor to help double the impact of our donation. This will allow patients and families to have upgraded facilities for their treatment and bring the inpatient and outpatient units into the same building.
We donated $1,000 to be used towards parking passes to assist families that are currently in treatment for childhood cancer.
Supporting Patients and Families
The Keira Kilbane Foundation hosted some very special VIP’s to close out 2014. Evening events included watching LEGO Movie, dinner and sparkling grape juice, playing carnival games, a photo booth,…Read More