Dr. Mark Osborn at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center, was named the recipient of the “Mighty Mimi St. Baldrick’s Scholar” grant
Chicago Kid Says ‘Kapow!’ to Cancer
Chicago, Ill. – The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, is proud to announce the Mighty Mimi St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund, created in honor of Mimi Eynon from Chicago, Ill., will support lifesaving childhood cancer research at the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Mark Osborn at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center, was named the recipient of the “Mighty Mimi St. Baldrick’s Scholar” grant and awarded $191,614 to support his research aimed to improve CAR T cell therapy for leukemia patients.
Dr. Osborn will use T regulatory (Treg) cells and engineer functional B cells, which are invisible to chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) (a ‘seek and destroy’ molecule of a protein on B cells), to create a treatment that will not harm the healthy tissue in leukemia patients.
The day before Mimi was diagnosed with cancer she was running, jumping, laughing and playing at the park, excited to start school in just a few days. In September 2014, Mimi began to have severe stomach pains and was referred to the emergency room at Lurie Children’s Hospital. When routine blood draws showed an abnormality in her white blood cell count, Mimi’s parents received the devastating news that their daughter had a form of pediatric cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia (pre-B cell ALL). Within hours of receiving the diagnosis, Mimi started chemotherapy treatment and became “Mighty Mimi” at just 3 years old. Mimi’s bravery continues to be unparalleled and is “fighting the bad guys” with the strength of a superhero.
“Our family is thrilled to be supporting Dr. Osborn’s research into safer and more effective T cell therapy to combat childhood leukemia. The study of T-regulatory cells is an innovative and promising area of growth in pediatric oncology,” said Mimi’s parents, Barrett and Adrienne Eynon. “Targeted immunotherapy could be the future of childhood cancer treatment. If safer and more effective treatment options could be used in place of the countless toxic chemotherapies, medicine and invasive painful procedures that Mimi received, this would be a shining light for children and families as they navigate the frightening and challenging diagnosis of cancer. Our family is honored to support Dr. Osborn in his admirable efforts to say ‘KAPOW’ to childhood cancer.”
The Mighty Mimi St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund honors Mimi’s bravery by funding critical research to not only find cures, but to lessen the harsh late effects of treatment.
Since 2015, this Hero Fund has raised more than $70,000 to support the most promising childhood cancer research. St. Baldrick’s Hero Funds are an ongoing way for friends, family members and groups to donate or raise funds to honor a loved one. To learn more about the program visit the St. Baldrick's Hero Fund page.
About St. Baldrick’s Foundation
As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is leading the charge to take childhood back from cancer. St. Baldrick’s funds some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts who are working to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. Kids need treatments as unique as they are – and that starts with funding research just for them. Join us at StBaldricks.org to help support the best childhood cancer research, no matter where it takes place.