Monticello Lions contribute to childhood cancer project

     A few months ago, the Monticello Lions Club made a $2,000 donation to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. The donation went to the Stead Family Children’s Hospital for pediatric cancer.

     Last week, the Lions Club received some powerful news concerning their generous donation.

     Britt Bergquist, assistant director of development, at the children’s hospital shared that the hospital was able to use the $2,000 “as seed funding to kick start an even larger project aimed at investigating childhood leukemia survivors and their academic achievement in school.

     “Your gift has opened the door to a research project that might not have been possible otherwise,” continued Bergquist.

     The research project is titled “Risk factors of poor academic achievement among survivors of childhood leukemia.” The Stead Family Department of Pediatrics was approved for full funding in the amount of $16,400.

     The Monticello Lions Club will be acknowledged in scholarly articles and journals resulting from the research.

     The phenomenal increase in survival rates for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is one of medicine’s greatest success stories. To date, approximately 90 percent of patients will be cured, which stands in stark contrast with six decades ago when leukemia was nearly always fatal. Unfortunately, young survivors are faced with yet another, more insidious battle. This battle encompasses impairments in mental abilities that interfere with academic and employment success, and obstructs survivors’ ability to enjoy the same quality of life as their peers. Considerations about long-term consequences of childhood cancer are often overlooked.

     The deliverables in this research project are to:

     • Determine if demographic variables, treatment parameters and/or neuropsychological features are important factors in explaining poor academic achievement in large cohort of childhood leukemia survivors

     • Establish infrastructure for developing the Iowa Childhood Cancer Survivor Registry (ICCSR)

     The ICCSR has the potential to make Iowa the epicenter of childhood cancer survivor research. The proposed study in leukemia survivors includes key elements of ICCSR, allowing the researchers to answer important questions about treatment variables, neuropsychological features and academic outcomes, while at the same time setting the stage for a much larger program.



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