The Maxwell Gottstein Retinoblastoma Research Fund proudly supports ongoing studies at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia under the leadership of Dr. Ann-Marie Leahey, and in memory of our wonderful, magical, beloved Max.
Retinoblastoma is a rare cancer of the retina and the most common malignant cancer of the eye in children. Among the many barriers to progress in treating retinoblastoma is that second cancers can emerge due to faulty and toxic treatments of the past. Your generosity will help CHOP further advance scientific knowledge and clinical options for retinoblastoma, and help them teach pediatric oncologists around the globe new, life-saving standards of care.
About Max:Max was an extraordinary little boy. Despite fighting cancers from the time he was eight months old, he lived a life full of joy and love like no other.
Unfortunately, Max’s retinoblastoma journey was also exceptional. Retinoblastoma is a highly curable cancer when treated correctly, especially when diagnosed as early as Max’s. Max received treatment at another major cancer center for the first year and a half after diagnosis, where the cancer devastatingly escaped his eye and spread to his bone marrow. Luckily, we found the brilliant Dr. Leahey at CHOP, who not only cured his metastatic disease, but cared for Max and our entire family with unparalleled skill and compassion.
After two years of health, Max developed treatment-induced acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a rare side effect of the high dose chemo needed to fight his metastatic retinoblastoma. He faced this secondary cancer with his characteristic humor and bravery, yet passed away from complications just before his sixth birthday.
Our family fully endorses retinoblastoma research aimed at supporting sound, effective treatments to prevent other children from dying unnecessarily from this very curable cancer. Already, Max’s fund has fully supported CHOP’s involvement in an international research study bythe International Retinoblastoma Second Cancers Consortium, examining the link between retinoblastoma and secondary cancers.
We wholeheartedly thank you for making this research possible, and for helping us support future studies in Max’s name.(Max and his beloved Dr. Leahey)