I will be joining this race in Philadelphia on September 24 in support of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) childhood cancer and fund lifesaving research and innovative care. A small donation will support a good cause and lend encouragement to my daughter Stefany, age 22.
Stefany, pictured on this page with her brother Sébastien, 20, started August 28 a six-week treatment to cure her leukemia, first manifested at age 13, then again at age 20, before challenging her a third time. Thanks to a dedicated team in the hematology and oncology department at Ottawa Hospital, with support as well from a medical team at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Stefany is given access to innovative, personalized medicine under a medical trial run jointly by CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania. The breakthrough treatment, called CAR-T, was approved just this week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the basis of promising results from earlier trials. The therapy draws upon the patient's own T-cells, genetically modified, to target and kill cancer cells. It is Stefany's best path to remission and to a definitive cure for leukemia, after undergoing chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant at younger ages.
CHOP pursues the most advanced therapies available anywhere in the world, including the cutting-edge clinical trial followed by Stefany that reprogram the body’s immune system to fight cancer. Doctors in Canada are engaged in collaboration and own work to bring soonest such therapies closer to home.
My own goal with the 5k run is to give back modestly and to signal the support and appreciation of friends and colleagues to the team at CHOP.