Research Edition #3: Hepatoblastoma and the Foundation for Addie's Research

After months of frustrating ER visits for high fevers, Adelaide 'Addie' was diagnosed in November 2015 with Hepatoblastoma, a rare pediatric liver cancer; it was just four days before her 2nd birthday. Addie fought a fast-spreading disease with grace; she shared her contagious smile and joyous spirit with everyone she met, even during the most difficult treatments. Her parents, Christina and Cody Stiverson, join us to discuss their experience and the progress of the Foundation for Addie's Research, currently funding a project for hepatoblastoma at Children's Cancer Therapy Development Institute.

We hear first from Dina Kats, researcher and project leader at the Institute. Before joining the team, Ms. Kats received her bachelor's degree from UCSD and her Masters in Biology from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. During her time at Northwestern, Dina focused on developing a tuberculosis vaccine using nanoparticles. In her own words, "I am excited to continue research that will help impact lives with cc-TDI!"



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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.