LIVING RESEARCH with Rachna Prasad and Jace Ward

A Class of 2020 graduate from UCLA in anthropology, Rachna Prasad is a working on a Masters program in clinical research at the University of Zurich, living her dream and honoring the legacy of her brother Mithil, who lost his life to brain cancer. She also manages the Mithil Prasad Foundation based in San Jose where she is from, and is developing a podcast called "Hear The Rare", devoted to exploring the science and treatment of childhood brain tumors.

Present and partner to the beginning of "Hear the Rare" was Jace Ward, from Wamego KS, who joins us for the second half of the show; Jace is involved in an experimental protocol for DIPG that is projected to accept only 6 patients in its first year of operation. On this day, Nov. 5 Oncoceutics Inc. released an official statement regarding an exciting new trial for ONC201, a drug which helped Jace live with DIPG long enough to get on the experimental Carr T-Cell treatment he has just received, with which he is faring well. Jace and his family, notably his mother Lisa Ward, have accelerated the actions of advocacy in the space of pediatric neuro-oncology with their commitment to bring people and resources together to find a cure.


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About Janet

Blessed with varied interests and an artistic and musical upbringing, Janet had health challenges throughout her young adult life. Despite these she graduated Cum Laude from Wellesley College with an award of distinction for acting, and had also been a champion equestrian. She began a family with her husband Barry later in life, and had finally found happiness with daughter Sophie-Marie (3/12/06) and then baby (Jack 8/30/08). Five weeks after his birth, the family escaped a wildfire in which all worldly possessions were lost. The family relocated in December of 2008 to Agua Dulce CA where they currently reside.

Jack began to have unsettling symptoms at the age of 3; he was taken to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and was diagnosed with DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, on Friday Oct. 28, 2011, indisputably the darkest experience of Janet's life. The outrage of it made her determined to find the good in the situation, and she asked God to "Put me to work!" After Jack's death, she remained determined to start working to find solutions to DIPG and incorporated Jack's Angels at the end of 2012; the Foundation began its work in 2013. Despite the fact that DIPG is responsible for the majority of brain tumor deaths in children, she had been told there were no solutions for Jack because "the numbers aren't great enough for investors." This remains the primary motivation in her advocacy work, to prioritize children's lives in our medical system in the United States.