The ChadTough Foundation has one mission: to advance pediatric brain tumor research through a focus on Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG. Tammi Carr visited the WTKA 1050 studios on Monday morning (Feb. 27) to talk about a breakthrough and the events that are continuing to make that research possible.
“We actually donated Chad’s tumor after he passed away and at Michigan they’ve been sequencing it down,” Tammi told WTKA’s Sam Webb. “They’ve been doing everything they can for a full year, really breaking it down – they’ve got some amazing minds over there.”
DIPG tumors start with a few mutations, which are called driving mutations. Through their research, Michigan uncovered that Chad had five.
“Two of them were not cancer-related,” said Tammi. “Then the other three, there were two that you find in almost every DIPG tumor. He had one mutation that has never been found in a DIPG tumor because it’s never been looked for the way they did.
“So there’s some serious research coming out of this – it’s something new that they never knew existed and there are some medications that they know can impact this in other tumors, so this is pretty substantial.”
What is important for ChadTough supporters to understand is that DIPG receives zero federal dollars, which means this research that is being conducted is a direct result of attending events, making donations, and pledging support.
“We’ve been pushing (for federal funding) and there’s a lot of people that have heard about this and are saying, ‘this is not okay,’ so I think we’re on the horizon of something amazing happening,” said Tammi. “The director of the NIH is coming to our gala in May and talking about what’s on the horizon for pediatric brain tumors for DIPG.
“There’s momentum and I think that’s a good thing he’s going to share with everyone.”
How You Can Help
Continuing to fund research like this is dependent on support from the local and national communities! The ChadTough Foundation has three ways supporters can help right now:
ChadTough Spring Cleaning Sale
For those in the Ann Arbor, Mich. area, the foundation is holding its high-end garage sale rally a little differently this year.
“Team Tommy is a partner of ours now on the west side of Michigan. They’re going to hold the big community garage sale,” said Tammi. “But the Kensington Hotel did a huge remodel and they are donating everything to us. We’re hosting a sale with them on Saturday at the Holiday Inn Express on Briarwood Circle, which is their sister hotel.
“Their hotel was not like a traditional hotel where you’re going to get 60 of the same headboards. It was more of a boutique style. So there is a lot of really cool stuff in there: amazing artwork, furniture, we’ve got kids items that other people have donated to the sale as well.”
The sale will take place on Saturday (March 4) from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Browse through some of the many items and RSVP on Facebook!
Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge
Michigan Basketball head coach John Beilein has made it to the final four of the Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge, which means he is once again a step away from a $100,000 check for DIPG research.
“The Beileins are amazing,” said Tammi. “I can’t even explain how wonderful they’ve been and how supportive they’ve been to our family and our cause.
“He came up to me after the game on Saturday and he said, ‘Tammi! Our angel was in the building again this year! Purdue two years in a row!’ It was a pretty emotional. Kathleen had tears in her eyes. I love them and we are going to help them get this win and help ChadTough get this win – we need everybody to do it, though. It’s $100,000 for the ChadTough Foundation and DIPG research.”
Dancing With The Michigan Stars
Last, but certainly not least, is Dancing With The Michigan Stars, taking place on March 30 at the Kensington Hotel. The event is sold out, but will be broadcast LIVE on Facebook.
“We have been training for months with professional dancers from Arthur Murray Studios. They do an amazing job out there,” said Tammi. “Let me tell you … I am not a dancer and I am going to bust out a salsa.”
There are two competitions between the dancers: one based on the actual dancing the night of the event and the other a fundraising competition through Crowdrise. Supporters can give to their favorite dancer at crowdrise.com/dwtms!
The ChadTough Foundation thanks you in advance for your continuing support and, as always, for being ChadTough!