Survival and Inspiration

John Mordach

Photo is copied from the article in the Chicago Tribune.

We always want to hear inspiring stories from those who survive brain cancer.  Children with brain and spinal cord tumors are so resilient, brave and strong.  Sometimes, in the throes of treatment, it’s hard to remember that there is going to be a light at the end of the tunnel for most patients.  Here is a phenomenal story from the Chicago Tribune about one young man’s story.


You only live once.

I was visiting with a young brain cancer patient at the hospital the other day. A candy basket was passed around the Play Room where she was waiting to see the doctor. We were doing a craft project together.

She looked in the candy basket and spotted a mini Nestle Crunch bar. “Oh, boy! Those are my favorite!”, she exclaimed. I said, “I love those too.” She asked if I wanted one. I said, “I don’t know. It’s candy and I have lunch soon. Maybe I shouldn’t.” (Also thinking of the calories…) That seemed silly in the face of the sickness so evident in this young girl. So I said, “Should I?” She replied, without hesitation, “You only live once, Catherine.” Wow! Maybe that’s a lesson we can all learn…to live in the moment. Enjoy life as it is. Find the little joys wherever you find them.

I thank her for inspiring me to count my blessings.

Catherine Lepone, Executive Director, Making Headway Foundation

New Year, New Resolve

With a new year always comes new resolve and dedication.  2015 is no different. There are too many children that we lose around the holidays from the evil thing known as brain cancer. And yet, we are full of hope as we receive applications for research grants, reports of successes with new treatments and news of all of the hopeful futures that our children enjoy since they have beaten their own form of pediatric brain cancer.

So Making Headway Foundation starts the new year with renewed commitment to help and fight for better treatments and cures. In the meantime, we want to make life better for all of those who have been touched by childhood cancers. We look forward to having your support as we do our work…not work, really.  It’s a mission that we embrace with love and affection for all of those who cross our paths and enrich our lives by their courage.

In memory of our friend, Peter H.

Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Research

The field of pediatric neuro-oncology research is considered to be in the “rare disease” category.  How do we tell the thousands of patients newly diagnosed this year that they need to wait?  One component of our Making Headway Foundation mission is to advance toward better treatments and a cure.  We will try to forward articles of interest on recent advances in this field.  If you have any news to report, let us know!

In the meantime, here is something which may interest you.

Ependymoma is an aggressive type of brain cancer that primarily affects infants. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital have carried out a comprehensive molecular analysis of these tumors.  Here is an article on their findings.

Making Headway has not evaluated the information provided here.  It is presented for informational purposes only.

Promising treatment for pediatric brain tumor patients

Making Headway Foundation just came across this interesting article about proton therapy for pediatric brain tumor patients.  This study came out of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and is worth a read. Outcomes seem very hopeful.–+Behavior%29

SOURCE:  American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) (2013, September 23). Encouraging outcomes for pediatric brain tumor patients

Breakthrough technology for children with brain tumors

Better imaging is one key to better treatments.  Here is an exciting story about a new “molecular flashlight” being developed so that imaging of medulloblastomas in children will be more accurate.  This will enable treatment to be carefully targeted.

Click this link to read the article:

Research News and Targeted Therapies

Photo Credit: Scott Morgan/ASCO

Isn’t it interesting that it may be possible for the body to fight off cancers by using it’s own immune system?

Here’s an article from the NY Times…


Research news for pediatric brain tumors

This is a very promising development.  The more precise we can be with drug selection and delivery, the better the outcomes.  We hope you like hearing good news from the research front!

Image of man holding beaker

Photo from CHOP website.

2012 Pediatric Brain Tumors Symposium

Check out these excellent videos from the 2012 Pediatric Brain Tumors Symposium.

Thank you very much to Megan Rudebeck of the Pablove Foundation for sending us the links.

New Nanotechnology Research Study Turns Brain Tumors Blue

Check out the new technology!