On Sunday, March 20, 2016, Hollis suffered significant headaches with double vision, nausea, and weakness. Nine days later, his family learned that doctors discovered a tumor on his brain stem.
His diagnosis: Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a type of central nervous system tumor that forms from glial (supportive) tissue of the brain and spinal cord. DIPG is a rare cancer, with only 350 children diagnosed each year. Average survival is one year from diagnosis.
Hollis ran home to Heaven on January 2, 2017, as only he could.
Join Our Team - #mostbestdays
In recent years, the "team science" approach has redefined studies against a number of diseases. TGen believes that by working with - instead of competing against - the leading researchers in any given disease area, we will achieve success faster, and to a greater degree.
To move further and faster toward improved DIPG therapies, TGen proposes engaging leading DIPG researchers and clinicians in an innovative, aggressive strategy.
Following on his DIPG Atlas (n+1) study, TGen Professor and Deputy Director Dr. Michael Berens will bring together a team to identify targets capable of prompting a positive immune response and to develop drugs that give these patients the "most best days."
The most critical members of the team, however, are patient advocates and families. They provide continuous inspiration and motivation, overseeing and driving the growth of the program, and developing the network to deliver positive outcomes to those in need as quickly as possible. A phase one planning grant of $200,000 will enable Dr. Berens to bring together the key team members and design the clinical trial.
This new and bold approach will be led by a stellar team of clinicians and scientists with a renewed commitment to do better and push harder for our children. This is a high stakes/high reward proposition, but we already know what the alternative is.