Project Stella Fundraising: Current Status  

Due to the overwhelming generosity of our donors, incredible progress has been made within Project Stella. We are so grateful for your involvement as well as the support of our dedicated partnerships. Earlier this year, Project Stella linked arms with Children's Cancer Research Fund (CCRF) to spotlight AML and the children it impacts. As a result, we are now better positioned to fund the entire cost for the initial participants in a Phase I trial! We are so grateful to everyone who has opened their hearts (and wallets) for this lifesaving mission.

We are now entering Phase 2 which is the Manufactuing of the CAR-T and the trial studies.  We estimate that this will require an additional $1.5M.  

In this condensed video of a recent conference call with donors of Fred Hutch, you will meet Dr Lynch, CEO of Fred Hutch Cancer Center and some of the members of Project Stella as they discuss why Project Stella has/will change the future for many children and their families.

CAR T Funding Almost Entirely Secured!

Providing targeted therapies to children is very expensive. The research and development of the Project Stella CAR T costs approximately $2M. Thanks to our incredible supporters that goal has been exceeded! Now, we move to Phase 2: the pediatric clinical trial, which is estimated at 1.5M for the first 15 children. Paying for CAR T therapy on top of medical bills is an incredible burden to families who are already strapped; emotionally, mentally, and financially.

In October, Children's Cancer Research Fund and Project Stella were selected as the philanthropy partners for the 2022 SHOOK Top Advisor Summit. This event, a gathering of the nation's top wealth advisors, raised $900,000 in a matter of hours. That leaves us in need of approximately 600K to fund the entire trial, from start to finish for these kids. We are so close!

The Summit was an emotional day of hope and promise; memorializing Stella and her legacy and looking to a brighter future for kids battling AML. Suitably, the event itself happened to fall on what would have been Stella's 9th birthday. Some would say the timing was a random coincidence. We believe otherwise. Thank you, Stella, and happy birthday.

*Pictured: Novotny family, Siders family, Stella's aunt, Carryn, & Dr. Soheil Meshinchi meet for the first time in person at the Summit.

From Children’s Cancer Research Fund (Images top/right):   Kenna, VP of Development & Donor Relations, Janice, Development Coordinator, Sarah, Events & Engagement Manager, and Lauren, Development Officer.

Project Stella Research Floor

Fred Hutch Cancer Center recently recognized all of the families and donors who are either impacted by and/or are supporters of Project Stella by dedicating a floor of their research center.    The Project Stella Research Floor will be a constant reminder to all of the researchers who pass by it that their tireless efforts have a major impact on the patients and families fighting pediatric AML.  It also creates a wonderful opportunity for the Philanthropy Team to share the incredible story of Project Stella with other potential Hutch donors who are touring the building.  We are humbled and honored that Fred Hutch Cancer Center wanted to bring special attention to this unique alliance between donors and researchers.  

Phase Two: Cure the Cancer

"Cure the Cancer".  Thanks to our generous donors we are nearing the actual manufacturing phase of the CAR-T.   We are currently at the 3rd step of the process shown.  After the CAR-T cells are manufactured, funding of an additional $1.5M will be needed to support the families who are part of the trial studies.  Again, thanks to CCRF, a fund-raising campaign was held in Las Vegas to raise additional funds for this phase of the project.

Next Step: Manufacture the CAR-T Cells

The manufacturing process for engineered T cells follows many complex procedures.  The process is very labor intensive and is one of the biggest challenges.  

Though we are excited and optimistic about 2023, 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 by finally finding a cure for this deadly disease. This is our chance to save the lives of children who are given such little hope.  Remember, 100% of all donations go directly to Project Stella at Fred Hutch Cancer Center (501c3 non-profit).