The St. Baldrick’s Foundation announced Monday that it is granting its Hannah’s Heroes St. Baldrick’s Scholar Grant to Dr. Pratiti Bandopadhayay at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
This $75,000 research grant will support Dr. Bandopadhayay’s research to identify drugs that can be combined with JQ1, a drug that can hinder effects of medulloblastoma, according to St. Baldrick’s, the largest nongovernment funder of pediatric cancer research in the U.S.
The Hannah’s Heroes Hero Fund was created by former Cayman residents Gaylene and Nigel Meeson in honor of their daughter, Hannah, who was diagnosed with anaplastic medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer, in July 2012 at the age of 4.
“We are thrilled and honored to name the grant for Dr. Bandopadhayay’s research,” said the Meesons in a press release announcing the grant. “It excites us to know that we are empowering world-class researchers like Dr. Bandopadhayay and others to radically change the course of childhood cancer treatments.”
For the last five years, Hannah’s Heroes has held the annual “Big Shave” event, where scores of people shave their heads to raise money that goes to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Since its inception, the event has raised $1,674,851 for cancer research.
Last month, 107 people had their heads shaved at the event, which attracted more than 1,000 supporters and raised $267,000.
The grant to Dr. Bandopadhayay is the fifth grant to be named in honor of Hannah’s Heroes to fight anaplastic medulloblastoma.
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation has acknowledged that Hannah’s Heroes Big Shave is the biggest public fundraiser for the charity outside of the United States.
When the event started, Hannah was given less than a 5 percent chance of surviving. She is now 10 years old, goes to school in Hong Kong, and participates in the Girl Scouts there.