$50,000 Awarded to New Orleans Institutions to Support Childhood Cancer Research

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NEW ORLEANS (March 2, 2017) – Childhood cancer patients depend on clinical trials to find better, safer cures that can prevent lifelong damage as a result of radiation and chemotherapy. Two New Orleans area institutions received infrastructure grants, totaling a combined $50,000, from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to support research that aims to find cures and better treatments for pediatric cancers.

One grant, totaling $25,000, was awarded to researcher Pinki Prasad, M.D., at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans/LSUHSC, and will support research within the first clinic in Louisiana that is dedicated to taking care of survivors with late effects – of which, Prasad is the director. The hope is that this research will give oncologists the expertise to ensure the process of transitioning childhood cancer survivors to adult medical providers who specialize in late effects treatment is as seamless as possible.

Also awarded a $25,000 St. Baldrick’s Research Grant in the New Orleans area was Robert Vasquez, M.D., Ph.D., at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation. This grant will support the Adolescents and Young Adults (AYA) and Survivor Clinic program, which he leads. This program, a one-stop shop for AYA patients and survivors (ages 15-39), is the first of its kind in the greater New Orleans area, and one of the few AYA survivor combined programs in the country. Patients in this program meet with specialists who can help them with fertility issues; a social worker who has counseling expertise in post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders; a nutritionist; and exercise counselors – all alongside adult and pediatric oncologists.

Infrastructure grants are awarded based on the need of the institution and its patients, anticipated results of the grant, and local participation in St. Baldrick’s fundraising events and activities.

“It’s amazing to me how much impact a single event like ours can have on the fight against childhood cancers right here in the New Orleans community,” said Douglas Shanahan, volunteer event organizer of the local St. Baldrick’s event at Finn McCool’s Irish Pub, which will take place on March 25. “As I say to the men, women and children who brave the shave at our event to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, ‘this is why we do this.’”

This series of grants, combined with the more than $22 million awarded in July, brings the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s funding total to $24.1 million awarded in 2016.

About St. Baldrick’s Foundation

As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation believes that kids are special and deserve to be treated that way. St. Baldrick’s funds are granted to some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts who are working to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. Kids need treatments as unique as they are – and that starts with funding research just for them. Join us at StBaldricks.org to help support the best cancer treatments for kids.

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