See stories and progress from The CENTENNIAL Campaign for
UCLA’s world-class cancer research generates life-saving therapies.
Grace Suomi was just 5 years old when her symptoms of Ewing’s sarcoma first appeared: terrible nightmares, soreness in her jaw, and loss of appetite. While on a family vacation, her parents rushed her to an ear, nose, and throat specialist after the right side of her cheekbone started to swell. The diagnosis was unlike anything they had anticipated.
Grace had a rare malignant tumor in her head and needed chemotherapy immediately. She couldn’t go back to school because her lowered blood counts put her at risk for infection. “She was so sick and in pain, and I felt helpless,” says Clare Suomi, Grace’s mother. “I had to watch all these doctors try to take care of my child, which is my job, and there was nothing I could do.”
Facing a year of treatment, the Suomis moved Grace’s care to the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her yearlong journey to recovery included more than a few bumps in the road, with dozens of hospitalizations and six weeks of radiation with a feeding tube inserted into her stomach. But Grace progressed with remarkable strength. In May 2011, she completed her treatment and is in remission.
The next frontier in cancer research at UCLA will bring leading-edge science, which is already in the laboratory, to patients, providing greater access to the latest therapies. Philanthropic support for this vision of patient-centered innovation will enable UCLA researchers and physicians to advance their efforts in four areas:
Your gift will help UCLA continue helping children like Grace conquer cancer and find a cure for one of the world’s most challenging diseases.
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