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31
May
2019

MIRACULOUS RECOVERY FOR BOY WITH BRAIN CANCER

 
Jack and his mum Vivian in May 2019. 

After years of investment in world-class research, impactful advocacy and widespread awareness, we are now seeing real impact in the form of kids like Jack.

In 2015, we committed $1.5 million to the NSW pilot study of Zero Childhood Cancer - a personalised medicine program for kids with rare and difficult to treat cancers. With the help of that early, proof-of-concept investment, Zero has become a national clinical trial, boosted further by significant investment from the government and other philanthropic sources, including Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation. 

The reality is, four years ago, children like Jack had very little hope.

But Jack wasn’t diagnosed with brain cancer four years ago, he was diagnosed in 2017 and suffered an aggressive, and likely deadly recurrence in early-2018. 

His brain cancer had not only returned, but it had spread throughout his brain and spine. Before long, the once athletic junior tennis player was wheelchair-bound and the fluid on his brain was beginning to affect his eyesight.

Jack was enroled in Zero, which works by taking a truly personalised approach to treatment, attempting to match the patients’ specific tumour with a potential therapy. 

In Jack’s case, tests showed his tumour contained a mutation known as BRAF V600E. Doctors believed this was driving the rapid growth of his cancer and personalised therapies were developed to target the mutation. They worked. 

After just 45 days of receiving treatment with a simple oral pill, Jack was out of his wheelchair and back playing tennis again. All with minimal side effects. He’s now back at school and his doctors believe he has made a full recovery. Jack is a tangible example of your generosity in action. This incredible work being carried out at Children’s Cancer Institute, the Kid’s Cancer Centre, the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick and collaborators across the country would not have be possible without the earlier pilot study, funded with the help of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s generous supporters.

 

Hearing Jack’s story was a hugely proud moment for us at Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, as we can genuinely say to everyone who has donated to the Foundation that they have helped save Jack’s life. Four years ago, Jack probably would have died. In 2019, he is thriving.

Zero project lead, Professor Michelle Haber, along with her inspirational team, deserve special praise for their incredible work, as do the other funders who have backed Zero.

We were proud to stand alongside both the Federal Government and Minderoo Foundation at the launch of game-changing initiatives like the Australian Brain Cancer Mission in 2017, and we will continue to partner with them and others who share our values to rid the world of brain cancer.

So much has changed in the brain cancer landscape in the last four years, but unfortunately stories like Jack’s are still the exception rather than the norm. We won’t stop investing in innovative programmes like Zero until every Australian diagnosed with brain cancer has an outcome like Jack’s. 

Help us bring promising new treatments to patients