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ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation, which is the result of the recent union of The ChadTough Foundation and Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation, is pleased to announce that it has granted an additional $3.5 million towards pediatric brain cancer research. This commitment is the largest round of funding since the original foundations’ inceptions in 2015, and it brings their combined funding for DIPG research to more than $16 million across 26 institutions.

Based on a rigorous review by the foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council, which is composed of leading experts on DIPG, the new $3.5 million grant award includes four Game Changer Grants and four New Investigator Grants.

Research grants support the work of existing DIPG researchers whose work represents an innovative approach to a major challenge in DIPG research, and they provide up to $600,000 in funding over three years.  The recipients of the research grants are Marta Alonso, Universidad de Navarra (Spain); Pratiti Bandopadhayay, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Tim Phoenix, University of Cincinnati; Sriram Venneti, Michigan Medicine; and Sujatha Venkataraman, University of Colorado.

New Investigator grants support newly independent DIPG researchers in establishing a new lab or established researchers who have not previously conducted brain tumor research, and they provide up to $250,000 in funding over two years. The recipients of the new investigator grants are Jessica Blackburn, University of Kentucky; Michael Koldobskiy, Johns Hopkins University; Giedre Krenciute, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; and Vivekanand Yadav, Michigan Medicine.

In addition to the formal grant program, the foundation has also awarded for the first time a Clinical Research Fellowship Grant.  Recognizing an emerging gap in support for new clinical trials, the foundation awarded a pilot grant to meet that need.  The recipient of this grant is Michelle Monje at Stanford University who will use this grant to hire a clinical fellow to assist in her CAR-T cell clinical trial.

“Funding from private foundations is critical for enabling researchers to work toward a cure, and we are thrilled to be able to offer these grants,” said foundation CEO Ann Friedholm.  “The $3.5 million in new grants will represent a significant portion of all DIPG research funded this year.”

ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation is the result of a unification of two families who faced the devastating diagnosis of brain cancer with their own children and  are determined to offer hope to future families who suffer the same fate.  Tammi and Jason Carr, of Michigan, and Jenny and Mark Mosier, of Maryland, each endured the heartbreaking loss of their sons, Chad Carr, age 5, and Michael Mosier, age 6, to diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

Brain tumors are now the leading cause of cancer related deaths in children.  DIPG, a type of tumor in the brainstem, is responsible for nearly half of those deaths. However, at the time of both boys’ diagnoses, the Carrs and the Mosiers were astonished to learn that there had never been advances in DIPG treatments to improve the prognosis, which is near 0% survival.  In fact, the #1 cancer killer of children receives less than 1% of federal funding for research.  Both families, compelled to take action, formed foundations to honor their children in the hopes that they might one day help find a cure.

Over the last 5 years, the two foundations worked often as funding partners, together granting nearly $7 million, in addition to grants they each made separately.  Then, in January of 2021, the organizations amplified their joint mission to find a cure by officially uniting to become the ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation.  The organization’s efforts are supported by Family Partners, all whose lives have been devastated by pediatric brain cancer, who help raise awareness and funds in honor of their own children.

Now one of the leading foundations that funds pediatric brain cancer research, the ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation is thrilled to announce this latest round of $3.5 million in grants that will support promising work from researchers around the globe. The foundation thanks the prior ChadTough Partner Families and the former Michael Mosier Defeat DIPG Foundation chapters in honor of Anthony Pappalas, Avery Huffman, Connor Olympia, Levi Harden, and Vivian Rose Weaver whose fundraising efforts helped support these grant awards.

ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation is excited to end the month of May, nationally recognized as Brain Tumor Awareness month, by making this funding announcement. The movement is intended to support, empower, and amplify the voice of the brain tumor community.  While ChadTough has always understood that heightened awareness is necessary in order to effect change, the foundation believes children fighting cancer should be recognized all year.  The foundation has therefore launched a #GoGoldAndGrayEveryDay campaign, urging supporters to help bring funding issues surrounding pediatric brain cancer to the forefront, with gold representing childhood cancer and gray representing brain cancer.  ChadTough is determined to do whatever it takes to truly #DefeatDIPG!

Learn more about how you can get involved.