After a lengthy illness in 2004, a CAT scan at a local hospital showed that our two year old son, Wyatt, had a baseball sized tumor directly behind his eyes. He was quickly transferred to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where doctors were able to remove 95% of the tumor. As a result of the tumor and surgery, Wyatt lost sight in his left eye. The remaining 5% of the tumor remains entwined with the nerves of his right eye and hypothalamus.
Six months after surgery, tests showed that the tumor was once again growing. In an attempt to halt the growth of the tumor, Wyatt underwent 15 months of chemotherapy. The chemotherapy not only halted the growth of the tumor, but his first post-chemo scan showed that the tumor had shrunk.
Wyatt’s tumor is a pediatric low-grade astrocytoma (LGA), which is benign, but the possibility of tumor growth still remains. Through exhaustive research, we found that research involving this particular group of pediatric tumors lagged behind other pediatric brain tumor and pediatric cancer research. In fact, there has been little change in the way PLGAs are treated for 25 years.
Why me? soon became Why not me?. From that sentiment, Why Not Me Inc. was founded and we set about our mission to raise funds for research to find a cure for pediatric low-grade astrocytoma tumors. We turned to our large supportive network of friends, family and colleagues as we organized the first fundraiser. That first fundraiser, held in 2005, helped us to raise over $10,000.
After extensive research and interviews with some of the leading doctors in the field, we chose to make our first grant (a multiyear commitment) to the Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston.
In 2007, we teamed up with several families in similar situations to fund almost $2 million in new pediatric brain tumor research. Our foundation was able to commit over $80,000 to this funding.
Since our first fundraiser event, Why Not Me Inc. has raised over $900,000!
We will organize ordinary people with moderate sums of money to profoundly influence the pace, direction and outcome of cutting edge research to cure pediatric brain tumors. We will receive funding through the donations of many to our 501(c)(3) Not for Profit Corporation. We will provide short turnaround funding to doctors and/or researchers who have a compelling theory or finding that could put us closer to a cure or a significant improvement in treatment. Only those openly collaborating and sharing the research data with the rest of the research community will be eligible for any funding from us. We will continuously evaluate the performance of those that received funding from us to insure that it is used in the most efficient manner.
Why Not Me Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax deductible.