Research is difficult
Measure 3 parts of a tumor, and you’ll get 3 different sets of data. For the best research, we need to study the whole brain – not just a small biopsy sample.
Kids’ bodies grow fast anyway – but when we treat brain tumors, they actually change even more as a response to treatment. For the best research, we need to study tissue after death – not just at diagnosis.
To fully understand childhood brain tumors, researchers need to look at the whole brain. And they need to do it after death. But that’s not easy.
Donating is difficult
The decision to donate must be made before a child dies – but when is the right time to talk to families? Right now, many never hear about donation until it’s too late to give.
Most kids who don’t survive brain cancer choose to die at home. Within 24 hours, 3 different experts – an autopsy tech, a pathologist, and a research technician – must retrieve and process tissue for a successful donation. And it all must happen without extra cost to families or to their insurance. That’s a lot to ask.
Tissue donation is the only way we’ll really get a deeper understanding of the tumors that too often take our children’s lives. This problem is worth solving.