Parents fund raise to pay for research for their kids

Filed under: In The News

Comedian Chris Rock once did a bit on AIDS saying that it would never be cured because "there ain't no money in the cure. The money's in the medicine. That's how you get paid, on the comeback." For drug companies, there's not much financial incentive to research treatments for rare disorders, so parents are having to step in and find ways to fund it themselves.

When his son was diagnosed with a rare type of brain tumor, "we thought the medical cavalry was on the way," said John Ragnoni . "We thought there must be just tons of research happening, that certainly there must be some cures or at least treatments."

But Ragnoni was shocked by the limited amounts of research being done. "We kept running into dead ends," he says.

He and a group of fellow parents of children with Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma (or JPA) which affects about 600 kids a year, have raised more than $6 million in three years for research.

Another family raised three million dollars for treatments for their son's genetic disorder by holding golf tournaments and a mother who is a public relations executive for a food supply company used her connections to co-ordinate a giant cookie sale, which netted $200,000 to help improve a treatment for a rare pediatric cancer.

"Never underestimate the power of a parent with a sick kid," said one parent.


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