Since our establishment in 2014, Pat Mac’s Pack has raised more than $2.5 million to our dual mission of supporting brain tumor research at Lurie Children’s Hospital and providing financial assistance to young cancer patients and families. This includes $1.3 million provided for research and more than 400 families supported.
Our donations to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago help fund the cutting-edge research currently being conducted by Lurie Children’s Pediatric Brain Tumor Program team. This has included providing funding to purchase state of the art technology like the CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), supporting fellowship research and more.
“Lurie Children’s Brain Tumor Program combines compassion and teamwork with a relentless pursuit of innovation and discovery to give every child the opportunity to thrive. We owe it to every patient in our care to provide the most advanced therapies and techniques to save and improve their lives,” said Dr.AngelaWaanders,Interim Section Head, Neuro-Oncology and Director, Precision Medicine Oncology. “We are exceedingly grateful for Pat Mac’s Pack’s ongoing partnership and support, which is driving our mission to create a cancer-free world. Thanks to your generosity, our team continues to improve outcomes for young people impacted by brain tumors through groundbreaking research, innovative treatments, compassionate support services and the superb leadership that makes these possible.”
Examples of our funding’s impact include:
Supporting a new Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Clinical Research Nurse who has had a measurable impact on Lurie Children’s ability to bring innovative new therapies to patients who need them most. This nurse plays a crucial role in every step of the clinical trial process. By supporting this role, Pat Mac’s Pack has allowed Lurie Children’s to open and manage high quality clinical trials while providing children with consistent medical care and emotional support that is critical to their successful enrollment and participation in promising trials. One such study is a phase I trial testing the safety and side effects of the combination of rHSC-DIPGVax, balstilimab and zalifrelimab for children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and diffuse midline glioma (DMG). rHSC-DIPGVax is a type of immunotherapy where a cancer vaccine is used to help a patient’s own immune system attack the tumor.
Bolstering recruitment of an accomplished Neuro-Oncologist who focuses both on research and caring for patients. The health and well-being of young people facing a brain tumor diagnosis is dependent on timely and innovative care. As Lurie Children’s capabilities and demand for services increase, it is essential to continue to build on the strong foundation of clinical and research expertise through the recruitment of new faculty.
“At Lurie Children’s, we continue to push the boundaries in advanced care and research for pediatric brain tumor patients thanks to generous philanthropy,” said Dr. Stewart Goldman, MD, Division Head of Hematology, Oncology, Neuro-Oncology and Stem Cell at Lurie Children’s Hospital.* “Support from Pat Mac’s Pack will allow us to invest in promising research initiatives. Their support of state of the art technology like the CRISPR for Dr. Becher’s lab and clinical research will give us the springboard to significantly ramp up our efforts and make the quantum leaps forward that will make a difference in the treatment of pediatric brain tumors. We thank Pat Mac’s Pack for partnering with us to bring viable solutions to children with cancer and their families.”
Family Support and Testimonials
When you find out your child has cancer, life as you know it stops. Treating and hopefully curing your child becomes your sole focus. Jobs and bills take a back seat but never go away. Plus, a battle with cancer comes with myriad financial costs — above and beyond hospital and medical bills. We provide financial support to families to help reduce the burden of travel, parking, lodging and other costs associated with numerous visits to and stays in the hospital. Please note: some the names of the children below have been changed to protect their privacy.
Reina is a 3-year-old fighting acute leukemia. Learn more about her by clicking here.
Millie is a high-school student battling a rare and aggressive tumor that has spread to her spine and lungs. Learn more about Millie: click here.
Jayden was a high-school student batting metastatic osteosarcoma. We lost Jayden to the disease on December 28, 2023. Keep Jayden in your memory by reading his story: click here.
LD is a handsome 12 year old hero battling a Gliomatosis Cerebri. He is a well rounded guy who loves Harry Potter, Marvel super hero movies, dogs, mac & cheese, fidget spinners, wrestling and stuffed animals just to name a few things. He enjoys building and creating household items with his grandpa.
Arthur is a vivacious 8 year old fighting a DIPG, the most aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer. He loves super heroes and playing with his brothers. His mom is single and depends on family and friends to help her.
Lisa is almost 2 years old. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor on her optic nerve. As a result of her diagnosis and treatment she is now blind. She will require several more years of chemotherapy along with services to help her adjust to life as a blind child. Her parents were very grateful for our donation which helped cover expenses not covered by their insurance.
Amanda is also 8, the eldest of 4 children. She was diagnosed with a stage 4 glioblastoma multiform, a very deadly form of brain cancer. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. Her mom stays home while her dad works. They live in a very modest home with very few extras. They were extremely grateful for our donation.
Billy is a toddler with neuroblastoma. He is currently undergoing treatment. He is the baby of a large family. His siblings all attend Catholic school and mom stays home.
Daniel is 16 years old, the 4th of 5 children. He is in treatment for a meduloblastoma, and his current MRI is “going in the right direction”. He hopes to be back playing on the soccer field next year. His parents are immigrants who speak very little English and have low paying jobs. The family needed car repairs which they couldn’t afford on top of all the medical bills. When his dad found out about our donation, he cried.
Rachel is an 11 year old diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a rare genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. As part of this disease, Rachel has an inoperable brain tumor. She lives with her single mom and sister in an apartment. They recently lost their home and car. Our donation was greatly appreciated.
Please consider supporting our ongoing impact: donate here today.
*Dr. Goldman left Lurie Children’s Hospital in 2020 to be the Chair of The University of Arizona’s College of Medicine’s Department of Child Health.