Nils Berggren battled Graft vs Host Disease (GVHD) from March 2013, when he received a lymphoma-beating stem cell transplant, until his death in February 2014 at Seattle Children's Hospital at age 14. Nils died from the horrible effects of GVHD, which can include chronic and acute inflammation of tissues in most organs, including gastrointestinal, skin, and lungs. Undaunted, he kept his spirits up and inspired thousands of people around the world while he suffered. Most of all, Nils wanted to help his doctors better understand this devastating and potentially deadly disease. This Endowment strives to accomplish Nils' dream through the funding of advanced research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Need Help Fighting GVHD
GVHD can be a deadly complication of allogeneic (donor) stem cell therapy (SCT) and occurs in 25% to 60% of SCT patients (depending upon donor type).
As SCT continues to be a successful means of treating blood cancers, often being a last line of treatment that gives hope to many families around the world, the specter of GVHD increasingly looms in the background.
Clinicians and researchers are continually working to reduce the rate of GVHD occurrence and improve patient outcomes. However the effort requires an immense amount of both testing and analysis which are in relatively early stages.
Use of Funds - Your Donations Make All the Difference
Many FHCRC researchers have made great strides in helping prevent GvHD.
Dr. Steven Pergam is pioneering promising efforts to understand how bacteriological biomes and diets can impact the response to GVHD treatment.
Marie Bleakley has pioneered work in preparing STC that has already helped patients as far away as Singapore http:/www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2015/06/magnets-lower-risk-graft-host-disease.html
Effie Petersdorf has learned how to engineer around a crucial but subtle mismatching of genetic makeup between donor and host, significantly lowering risk in unrelated donor transplants. http:/www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2015/08/transplant-matching-method-for-reducing-GVHD.html
Dr. Mary Flowers, Dr. Geoffrey Hill, and Dr. Stephanie Lee are developing more personalized treatments to target specific forms of chronic GVHD: http://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2018/04/advances-chronic-graft-vs-host-disease.html
Nils' fund will directly support researchers and research in programs such as these at FHCRC.
To wire funds, or for more details about FHCRC work, please contact Stephanie Henderson of FHCRC at firstname.lastname@example.org or at +1 800 279 1618 ext. 4974.