Grants Awarded

In our first eight years, we have awarded over

$4.1 Million for Research Studies!


Our 2019 $1,000,000 grant was awarded to Dr. Midhat Farooqi’s project seeks to help children with hard-to-treat and/or recurring solid tumors found in a range of pediatric cancers like neuroblastoma and Ewing sarcoma. His research focuses on T cells, a type of immune cell that circulates in our bodies and scans for microbes and abnormal cells. Dr. Farooqi seeks to improve a new and targeted therapy that uses a patient’s own T cells which are engineered in a lab and infused back into the body to treat these aggressive tumors. Thanks to Braden’s Hope, Dr. Farooqi hopes to enhance this treatment’s effectiveness by sequencing a patient’s DNA first to help pre-determine the tumor’s response to this therapy. His project includes patients at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Children’s Health in Dallas, Texas, Cook Children’s in Fort Worth, Texas, and even children being treated for these cancers in Mexico.


We awarded our second of three $1,000,000 study grants to Dr. John Perry, a childhood cancer survivor himself, for a three-year study named, “Overcoming therapeutic resistance by repurposing a classic chemotherapeutic drug as a targeted therapy to reactivate anti-cancer immunity”. The purpose of this study is described in this way: “In contrast to current clinical practice of using toxic drugs at or near the maximum tolerated dose, which results in severe long-term side effects, this project will test the potentially transformative idea that drugs currently approved for cancer therapy can be used in a targeted manner to reactivate anti-cancer immunity against the cells responsible for relapse.”


We awarded the first of three $1,000,000 study grants to Dr. Tomoo Iwakuma for a three-year study for Osteosarcoma titled “Capitalizing on p/53 loss/mutations in osteosarcoma through novel compounds”.

The goal for this proposal is to develop small-molecule drugs that specifically suppress growth of OS cells that lack the p53 activity and characterize these drugs in preclinical proof-of-concept studies.


We funded a two-year, $200,000 study to Dr. Andrew Godwin and Dr. Glenson Samuel at KU Medical Center for Ewings Sarcoma research. The study is “Exosome miRNAs as biomarkers and targets for chemoresistance in Ewing Sarcoma”.

We also funded a two-year, $300,000 study to Dr. Shrikant Anant from KU Medical Center and Dr. Kathleen Chastain from Children’s Mercy Hospital for “Sarcoma in a Dish: a novel approach for precision medicine”. This study seeks to find answers for Rhabdomyosarcoma cancers in children.

We funded a third study which was a one-year $100,000 study to Dr. Yael Mosse, titled “Immunotherapeutic Strategies to Target ALK on the Cell Surface of High Risk Neuroblastoma”. This study addresses high risk neuroblastoma and is a precision medicine approach to treating this deadly disease.


Two grants were awarded this year. One was to Dr. Kathleen Chastain from Children’s Mercy Hospital in conjunction with Dr. Shrikant Anant at KU Medical Center for rhabdomyosarcoma research. The amount of that grant was $193,700.

The second grant totaling $100,000 was awarded to Dr. Andrew Godwin from KU Medical Center in conjunction with Dr. Kathleen Chastain of Children’s Mercy Hospital for work in the area of Ewings Sarcoma.


We awarded two grants in 2014. One was to Dr. Kathleen Neville at Children’s Mercy Hospital in conjunction with Dr. Giselle Sholler from Helen deVos Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This was a Phase One research trial with two targeted treatment drugs called DFMO and Velcade which are given to patients who have gone through neuroblastoma treatments in an attempt to keep them in remission as a high percentage of neuroblastoma patients relapse.

The second grant was awarded in 2014 was to Dr. Doug Myers from Children’s Mercy Hospital in partnership with Dr. Thomas Yankee at KU Medical Center. Their research focuses on all solid mass tumors and the grant title was Next generation chimeric antigen receptors for personalized anti-tumor therapy.  Their work focuses on infusing donor cells from a relative that are “supercharged” into a childhood cancer patient. Those cells then target cancer cells to destroy them and teach the child’s own immune system to recognize the invading cancer cells and destroy them. This is the second phase of their work and the preliminary results from the first phase of their work were extremely promising.


Our first grant was awarded to Dr. Jason Shohet at Texas Children’s Hospital to find a specific stem cell that is believed to be an activator of neuroblastoma cancers. His work was designed to find that cell, learn what activates it, and then develop a treatment that would shut that cell activator down.