On the one-year anniversary of the passing of Chad Carr, the little towhead who charmed the world as he valiantly fought Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), an inoperable pediatric brain tumor, The ChadTough Foundation is making a $1.5 million gift over three years to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.
The Foundation made the announcement Wednesday as part of a collaborative effort to accelerate pediatric brain tumor research at UM. The gift is part of a joint effort to raise $30 million in honor of Chad, who was 5 when he passed away, toward a pediatric brain cancer research initiative.
Chad was the youngest of Tammi and Jason Carr’s three children. He was the grandson of former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr and Michigan All-American Tom Curtis. After his diagnosis, Tammi Carr took to social media to ask the world for prayers for her son.
“We have so many amazing, generous people in our lives who are committed to making a difference in Chad’s name, and we’re so glad that difference will happen at Mott,” Tammi Carr said in a release.
While the brain tumor initiative will focus on all pediatric brain tumors, Mott is also working to recruit a DIPG researcher. The ChadTough Foundation’s gift will support that recruitment, and — once a team is in place — any gifts the foundation gives to Mott will specifically go to DIPG.
“DIPG is such a complex tumor that it’s going take researchers from many different areas coming together to find a cure,” Jason Carr said. “Adding a DIPG researcher will enhance what is already being done at Michigan.”
Bringing a DIPG researcher to Michigan is another big step in the right direction for this disease that is generating more and more attention now that families are coming forward to donate tissue and tell their stories.
“We have come a long way in treating and curing many childhood cancers. But therapy advances over the last two decades have not been effective in fighting the most lethal type of pediatric brain tumor, DIPG,” Valerie Opipari, a pediatric oncologist and chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases at Mott Children’s Hospital.
“We are grateful for this generous gift from the ChadTough Foundation that will support research helping us develop entirely new ways of treating this devastating disease.”