Project Stella Fundraising: current status as of Q1 2022

Due to the overwhelming generosity of our donors, we have raised $1,864,510 of the $2 million needed to submit to the FDA for approval. We are so grateful to everyone who have opened their hearts to such a worthy cause! Though we are excited and optimistic about 2022, the new year brings about conflicted emotions for cancer families: grief and disbelief over hard battles fought, crippling uncertainty about what the next year will hold, but deep hope and gratitude for remission and healing. We approach this year with strengthened resolve and renewed optimism, channeling all the mixed emotions toward saving these children’s lives. This is our chance to change the story of childhood leukemia. This is our chance to save the lives of children who are given such little hope. We are so close, and we have so little time.

Remember, 100% of all donations go directly to Project Stella research.

The Funding Problem

Pediatric AML is tremendously underfunded and under researched, leaving young children with few options. Treatment protocols are tailored to adults and fail to accurately address the unique subtypes of pediatric cancer. Please help us spread awareness and raise funding. We can do better. We have to do better.

Why have only 3 new drugs been approved for pediatric cancer in over 30 YEARS?

  • Because the market for pediatric therapies is smaller than that of adults, it doesn't incentivize private industry and pharmaceutical companies to invest. Basically, there isn't enough of a monetary payoff for pharma.

  • With less incentive for private industry to invest in pediatric research, the roles of philanthropies and the federal government become critical for childhood drug development.

  • Federal research dollars allocate only 4% of all cancer research dollars toward childhood cancer. Only 4%! Moreover, funding is typically awarded based on ranking of research proposals and reach, regardless of specific disease and need. As a result, 'rare' forms of pediatric cancer are overlooked ("Translating Discovery into Cures for Children with Cancer," American Cancer Society).

It is because of this that private funding is so crucial in finding cures for aggressive forms of childhood cancer, like those being researched at Project Stella. All donations go straight to the Meshinchi Lab for Project Stella research!

Dr Meshinchi Leads Project Stella

A New Approach to Treatment: Project Stella works closely with Dr. Soheil Meshinchi, a world renowned pediatric AML expert at The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to expedite precision medicine research. Dr. Meshinchi runs one of the only labs in the country developing cures for children facing the devastating diagnosis of high-risk AML. His research is tailored to pediatric cancers, aimed specifically at patients under 5 years old. Dr. Meshinchi’s research is focused on finding a treatment protocol that targets the cancer and does not bring the irreversible side effects. Moreover, these therapies will be brought to children on an expedited time frame, bypassing the decades it often takes to bring novel treatments to pediatric cancer patients.

Why Fred Hutch

* Other treatment centers only accepts patients who fit into one of the trials they are focused on. Fred Hutch is often a place of last resort, willing to take on the toughest of cases.

* Fred Hutch is the leading recipient of NIH Funding among all of the 61 NCI designated Cancer Centers- these grants are awarded by an impartial scientific body. This speaks to the quality of the research at The Hutch.

* The Hutch, in partnership with the Global Oncology Group, is the holder of the largest repository of pediatric AML tumor samples in the world. This data is critical to finding cures and doing this research.

* Hutch researchers consult with leading researchers at other facilities – typically on these extremely difficult cases.

Fred Hutch performs research on rare types of pediatric AML, while the majority of AML research is on Adult AML. Pediatric and adult AML are in no way similar.

* Over 1.3M bone marrow transplants have been done worldwide. This process was developed at Fred Hutch who also provided the training required at other locations.

* Drs. E. Donnall Thomas (1990), Lee Hartwell (2001) and Linda Buck (2004). Each received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine and further cemented Fred Hutch’s reputation for scientific innovation and excellence.

Dr Meshinchi’s Impact on AML

Please click on the video to see why Dr Meshinchi was selected to lead Project Stella.

If you know of a child recently diagnosed with AML please go to Curewheel.org for information on expertise in AML.

Marcus Miller, Stella’s Uncle

Marcus, a Jazz Musician, Producer and Film Composer requests your help in the video.