When Information Changes Everything

When Finn’s unsteady walk led doctors to do an MRI, his parents got dreadful news: Finn had a brain tumor. His parents didn’t think things could get worse until a biopsy deemed the tumor to be an aggressive, high-grade glioma and brain surgery to remove it became inevitable.

“We had to delay surgery because Finn had a positive COVID test,” his mother, Kim said. “Finn didn’t look or act sick. He was still my goofy, angelic child with the sweetest soul.”

While it didn’t seem so at the time, the delay ended up being a great blessing. While they waited, a biopsy of Finn’s tumor was sent for genetic testing. This deeper analysis completely changed the initial diagnosis. Finn’s tumor was actually a low-grade tumor. Armed with this new information, doctors charted a different path for Finn that doesn’t include risky surgery at this time.

Today, most children with cancer are treated in a one-size-fits-all manner. But through our Precision Medicine Initiative, CURE is leading the way in advancing innovative gene-based therapy which gives doctors personalized information that allows them to tailor the treatment to the patient. In Finn’s case, this genetic information allowed his medical team to treat him without performing a potentially life-altering brain surgery.

In addition to clarifying diagnosis and ensuring the right approach to treatment, precision medicine will lead to more effective cures for children without the side effects of today’s harsh treatments. Your gift of any amount will help us speed this life-saving research to children who need it.

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