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

Promising Grant for Lymphoma Research Given in Honor of La Grange Park Child

La Grange Park, IL – The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, is proud to announce that a St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund created in memory of Dominic Cairo, from La Grange Park, Ill., will support lifesaving childhood cancer research.

The Do It For Dominic Hero Fund helped fund a St. Baldrick’s Fellow Grant for Dr. Lisa Maurer at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Dr. Maurer is working to understand how two important proteins that control the proliferation of lymphocytes interact and to identify new treatments that would block these proteins from promoting growth of lymphoma and perhaps leukemia cells.

“I am honored to be the recipient of the Do It for Dominic St. Baldrick’s Fellow Grant,” said Dr. Maurer at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. “Money raised in memory of Dominic will be used to improve our understanding of pediatric lymphoma with the goal of using this knowledge to develop new treatment strategies.”

Lymphoma and leukemia are cancers that often strike children. The function of cellular proteins determines whether cancer cells survive and proliferate or die. Dr. Maurer found that, in some lymphoma cells, when the level of a specific protein was lowered, this led to an increase in tumor growth. By understanding how these proteins work together to increase the cancer growth in lymphoma and leukemia, Dr. Maurer will be able to identify new treatments that can block cancer growth, leading to more targeted and less toxic treatments for childhood cancers.

“We are very thankful to be involved with an outstanding organization like St. Baldrick’s,” said the Cairo family. “St. Baldrick’s lets us raise money in our son Dominic’s honor while helping other children that face life threatening illnesses. I’m pleased we are able to help Dr. Maurer in her quest to prevent relapses in children suffering from lymphoma. Dominic is smiling down from heaven knowing he is making a difference with the help of St. Baldrick’s and Dr. Maurer.

The Do It For Dominic Hero Fund was created in memory of Dominic Cairo, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of 5. Sadly, Dominic passed away a few days after finishing second grade. To those who knew him, Dominic was a hero. His school started a St. Baldrick’s team in his honor and this Hero Fund was born. Its goal is to fund research to ensure no other child has to go through what Dominic endured.

Dominic’s family and elementary school continue to keep his memory alive by raising money to find a cure for all pediatric cancers. Since 2009, the Cairo family and their community have raised more than $492,000.

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

About St. Baldrick’s Foundation
As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation believes that kids are special and deserve to be treated that way. St. Baldrick’s is leading the charge to take childhood back from cancer by funding some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts who are working to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. Kids need treatments as unique as they are – and that starts with funding research just for them. Join us at StBaldricks.org to help support the best cancer treatments for kids.