Because of Daniel is dedicated to supporting osteosarcoma research and clinical trials to give kids like Daniel a better chance at surviving this deadly disease.
Osteosarcoma is a pediatric bone cancer that affects primarily teenagers, but children as young as 5 and adults as old as 40 have been diagnosed as well. About 500 people under the age of 18 get osteosarcoma every year, but since the average age to get the disease is 17, the total number of people is probably around 1000.
Learn more about osteosarcoma here.
At the age of 11, Daniel Garcia-Beech was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. As is far too common with the disease, his tumor did not respond to chemotherapy and metastasized while on treatment. Six months after finishing up the 20 rounds of high-dose chemotherapy, limb-sparing surgery, and a thoracotomy, Daniel relapsed. 15 operations and one failed clinical trial later, Daniel’s cancer relapsed very fast and very aggressively. His tumors were inoperable and the doctors said that he might have one or at most two months to live.
Desperately searching for something, anything, Theresa Beech, his mother, started investigating the genomics of Daniel’s tumor based upon his Foundation One Heme panel. Teaching herself cell biology, genetics, and osteosarcoma while caring for Daniel at home, she identified 2 drugs which targeted Daniel’s tumor mutations and convinced Daniel’s doctors to try them.
During the almost six months in which Daniel was terminal, he learned how to walk on his prosthesis, he went back to school, saw his sister and cousin graduate from high school and college respectively, went to multiple Bat Mitzvahs, hung out with friends and family, and played Pokemon Go outside every day for hours with his sister up until the day before he died.
Daniel died from osteosarcoma on August 28, 2016.
While caring for Daniel, Theresa started receiving questions from other osteosarcoma parents regarding the tumor genetics. One parent, led to another, and another and another. And through a fortuitous series of circumstances, Theresa was provided with a de-identified osteosarcoma tumor genetics data set of 63 pediatric tumors from Foundation One. With this data along with the data provided by parents, Theresa carried out a statistical and pattern detection analysis of osteosarcoma genetics.
More about Theresa’s research here.
Theresa Beech and a group of researchers and doctors want to put together the first ever basket trial for relapsed/ refractory osteosarcoma that uses tumor genetics to determine a combination of targeted therapy and chemotherapy for treatment. This trial would require funding to ever become a reality and here is where Because of Daniel comes in. With your help, you can make this trial a reality, and give other kids like Daniel a fighting chance.
You can donate to us here.
“If I can save one heart from breaking, I shall not have lived in vain.” – Emily Dickinson