• Press Release
  • For Immediate Release
  • Media Contact:
    • Michele Franco
    • 626.792.8247 ext. 264
    • michele.franco@stbaldricks.org

Grant for Promising Childhood Cancer Research Given in Honor of Indianapolis Child

Indianapolis, Ind. – The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, is proud to announce Jack’s Pack-We Still Have His Back, a St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund, created in honor of Jack Klein from Indianapolis, Ind., will support lifesaving childhood cancer research at Thomas Jefferson University and the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, Pa.

Dr. Christine Eischen at Thomas Jefferson University is being named the recipient of the Jack’s Pack-We Still Have His Back St. Baldrick’s Research Grant” to support her promising research on new approaches to treat Burkitt lymphoma, a blood cancer in children, especially when the disease has relapsed.

Current treatment for Burkitt lymphoma is toxic and often results in complications. For patients who relapse, survival rates are poor even with therapy. Therefore, Dr. Eischen strongly believes more research for better treatments are needed. Her work focuses on the discovery of an innovative approach to target and destroy a specific protein in Burkitt lymphoma cells. This approach also holds promise to eradicate Burkitt lymphoma cells that contain specific gene mutations that make them resistant to therapy, leading to relapse. With this understanding and further testing of new ways to target these proteins, Dr. Eischen intends to achieve improved and more effective treatment approaches for Burkitt lymphomas, especially those that are resistant to current therapies.

Jack’s Pack eagerly welcomes Dr. Christine Eischen and her entire laboratory to their team. Jack Klein died in 2016 from Burkitt Lymphoma. “While we wish Jack’s big news this month would be that he started high school, instead we are proud to announce this award in his memory. Our partnership with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has connected the work of Jack’s friends and family with the important lymphoma research of Dr. Eischen’s team,” said Jack’s mother, Rebecca Klein. “The efforts of Jack’s Pack in Indianapolis and across the country have raised the funds that make this award possible, and it’s an honor to support scientists in their novel and noble work.”

This grant is funded by and named for Jack’s Pack – We Still Have His Back, a St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund. Jack Klein was a 10-year old who loved life, laughing and monkeys. During his illness, his community of family and friends near and far rallied around him under the moniker “Jack’s Pack”. Their slogan was “We have Jack’s Back”. After Jack succumbed to Burkitt’s lymphoma, his “pack” focused their energy and efforts to funding a cure…just as Jack would have wanted.

St. Baldrick’s Hero Funds are an ongoing way for friends, family members and groups to donate or raise funds to honor a loved one. To learn more about the program visit the St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund page.

About St. Baldrick’s Foundation
Every 2 minutes a child somewhere in the world is diagnosed with cancer. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of pediatric cancer research grants, is on a mission to defy childhood cancers by supporting the most promising research to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. When you give to St. Baldrick’s, you don’t just give to one institution–you give to virtually every institution treating kids with cancer across the U.S. and beyond. As a leader in the pediatric cancer community, St. Baldrick’s works tirelessly to ensure that current and future children diagnosed with cancer will have access to the most cutting-edge treatment from the best leaders in the pediatric oncology field. Join us at StBaldricks.org and help #DFYchildhoodCancers.