An “Achilles Heel” for Mixed-Lineage Leukemia

Megan Morrey Emerging Scientist, Research Updates, Stories

Maxim Pimkin, MD, PhD at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston is exploring how depleting two proteins in the body could save children with an especially dangerous kind of leukemia. Research helps kids like Harriet, who is fighting leukemia. Click to read “Spicy One -Harriet’s Story.” The problem Research has progressed exceedingly for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), but patients …

Targeting ‘undruggable’ leukemia proteins

Megan Morrey Emerging Scientist, Research Updates, Stories

Ani Deshpande, PhD at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California is working to target previously ‘undruggable’ proteins in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The problem: Research helps kids like Liam, who is fighting ALL. Click to read “Leukemia and Lightsabers – Liam’s Story.” Some types of childhood leukemia have two genes that fuse together to form a cancer-causing fusion protein. …

Treating Leukemia with Microbubbles

Megan Morrey Research Updates, Stories

Caroline de Gracia Lux , PhD at the University of Texas, Southwestern in Texas will use novel ultrasound technology to make acute lymphoblastic leukemia CAR-T cell treatment less toxic and improve the quality of life during treatment. The problem: Currently, CAR T-cell immunotherapy is the best way to cure relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia, one of the most common cancers in children. …

Targeting Chemoresistant Leukemia Cells

Megan Morrey Research Updates

Sometimes, leukemia cancer cells are so powerful they can overcome the most potent of chemotherapies. Because of support in part by Children’s Cancer Research Fund’s donors, Peter Gordon, MD, PhD, an oncologist and researcher at the University of Minnesota, and his team could explore the reasons this happens, opening potential new avenues for treatment options for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) …

Leukemia and Lightsabers – Liam’s Story

Megan Morrey Stories

Plenty of 5-year-old boys get bumps and scrapes, but when Kristy started noticing more bruises than normal on her son Liam, she mentioned it to his doctor. After checking the levels in his blood, Liam’s doctor told Kristy that something was definitely off. Kristy’s heart sank. Kristy and her husband Stan took Liam to the hospital that day. After more …


Leukemia and other diseases of the blood and bone marrow may affect red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Treatment for children with leukemia is tailored to each child, depending on their illness. Chemotherapy and radiation are often used. At times, a blood or marrow transplantation (BMT) may be recommended.

The Next Generation of Leukemia Therapy


Jono Nagel Research Updates

Childhood B-cell leukemia can be a devastating disease that is currently treated with chemotherapy and hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Though effective in some patients, chemotherapy and HCT can be highly toxic. In addition, when children relapse, it is associated with a poor outcome. Mark Osborn, PhD, is working on an innovative solution that could have an immediate impact on childhood …

Early Leukemia Detection in Newborns


Jono Nagel Research Updates

Leukemia is one of the most common childhood cancers, representing approximately one-third of all cancer diagnoses among children under the age of 14. Studies show that a subset of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common type of leukemia in children, begins in the womb. Researchers discovered a genetic error that is present at birth in some children who later …

Building Up Leukemia Patients’ Immune Systems

Brooklyn - leukemia patient

Jono Nagel CCRF News, Research Updates

After stem cell transplant, children don’t yet have an immune system. Because their immune systems are knocked down, children could die of diseases like the common cold. Heather Stefanski, MD, PhD, is doing research focused on using cells called thymic progenitors to improve children’s immune function after transplant.

Depression and Survivor’s Guilt After Leukemia

Jamie Lynn Hutchings

Jono Nagel Stories

Written by Jamie Lynn Hutchings. She is an AML survivor and writer of her blog Surviving The Bubble. After surviving acute mylocetic leukemia at age 11, I tried to prove myself to everyone around me.  I talked about my leukemia every chance I got and tried to remind people about this amazing thing that I had been through. I wanted …

Mikaela’s Story: Surviving Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Photo of Mikaela

Jono Nagel Stories

Mikaela Gerick started ninth grade like many students—easing into a new school and meeting new friends. But unlike her classmates, Mikaela would spend the next three years battling cancer. From the moment of her diagnosis, Mikaela’s care team found that her health and responses to treatment were unpredictable. “She was always the exception to the rule,” recalls her mom Kate. …

Jillian’s Story: Surviving B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Jono Nagel Stories

Shortly after her 4th birthday, Jillian of Waconia, Minnesota was diagnosed with B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. An otherwise healthy and physically active child who loves swimming and horseback riding, Jillian started experiencing sharp bodily pains and a high fever a short time after starting pre-school. At first, her parents assumed it was just a pre-school related bug however, when …

Jacob’s Story: Surviving Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

Jono Nagel Stories

Jacob was born with Down syndrome. Individuals with Down syndrome are up to 20 times more likely to develop leukemia than the general population, according to Dr. Julie Ross, University of Minnesota researcher and Children’s Cancer Research Fund co-chief medical advisor. Leukemia peaks with newborns and again between 3 and 6 years of age. Jacob was 4 when he was …

Owen’s Story: Surviving Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

Jono Nagel Stories

In 2006, when Owen developed an ear infection and a cough at 11 months old, everyone thought a trip to Urgent Care for an antibiotic was all he needed. It helped for a while, but soon his symptoms were back. And this time, Owen was pale. Not satisfied with the new diagnosis of a virus, Bonnie took him to his …

Katie’s Story: Surviving Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

Jono Nagel Stories

To a 4-year old, childhood cancer might not look so bad. But to 30-year-old Katie Sonnichsen, looking back on 26 years as a cancer survivor is cause for celebration. “As a result of my treatments and the love and support of my family and friends, I am here 26 years later to share my story,” she says. Katie was diagnosed …

Sydney’s Story: Surviving Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML)

Jono Nagel Stories

When a 13-week-old baby has a stuffy nose and a mild fever, parents don’t usually panic. A simple trip to the doctor’s office, some antibiotics and lots of rest typically takes care of things. Baby Sydney, however, did not have a simple ear infection. Her high white blood count told another story—she had leukemia. Thus this family’s journey began with …

Alijah’s Story: Surviving Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

Jono Nagel Stories

Watching your child grow and move forward through developmental milestones—learning to sit, to crawl, to take the first tottering step—is a joyful process for any parent. How frightening, then, to watch your child suddenly seem to “grow backwards.” That is what Kyle and Jamekka experienced when their two-year-old son Alijah stopped walking. “He just started crawling again,” recalls Jamekka. “He …

Ryan’s Story: Surviving Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Jono Nagel Stories

For Ryan, it started when a cold passed through his family. As the youngest, six-month-old Ryan was the last to come down with it…but after the sniffles turned into a raging fever, his pediatrician decided to test a blood sample. The results were absolutely devastating – Ryan had leukemia. A Ray of Hope Ryan’s diagnosis was acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), …