Crowd Funding for Rare Pediatric Brain Cancer

The social media phenomenon Humans of New York (HONY) teamed up with the Department of Pediatrics at Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital, also in New York, last year to raise over $4 million in just three weeks for pediatric cancer research.

HONY’s pediatric cancer series shines a light on the exceptionally tragic nature of childhood cancer with compelling photography and stories told by children, indefatigable parents and the unrelenting doctors, nurses and researchers dedicated to the fight against pediatric cancers. One of the medical warriors, neurosurgeon Mark Souweidane, MD, of the MSK Department of Pediatrics had never even heard of HONY before the campaign began. Humans of New York founder Brandon Swanton new that interviewing Dr. Souweidane would be critical to the photo essay but what happened next was a surprise to all.

In a single night, HONY readers donated more than $1 million to Dr. Souweidane research on a specific type of fatal childhood brain tumor called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). Because DIPG is located in a part of the brain that is inoperable, and the children diagnosed with the disease tend to live a year or less, Dr. Souweidane’s research is critical.

By injecting chemotherapy directly into the tumor, Dr. Souweidane’s experimental research has already generated hope for one girl who has been alive nearly four years since her diagnosis.

More about Dr. Souweidane’s can be found here.

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