"The WES foundation provided vital support at a pivotal stage of my career, as I made the transition from pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship to a faculty position. Funding from the WES foundation allowed me to continue my research, providing that necessary bridge to secure additional funding and a faculty position. But most importantly, it allowed me to continue work that I hope will positively impact the lives of children with cancer.
My research program focuses on childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Fortunately, ALL is curable in most children, thanks to decades of research. My work focuses on those children who are not cured, those children who are failed by our current standard therapy. In some cases, therapies that take a different approach may help those children. In the first approach, by looking for genetic abnormalities that drive certain leukemias, we hope to be able to turn off those drivers and improve response to therapy. In the second approach, we have seen exciting results from a therapeutic approach that reprograms a part of the immune system, a T cell, to recognize and kill leukemia.
The WES foundation, through its generous support, not only fosters research but also enables researchers to continue asking questions, with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of children with cancer."
~ Shannon Maude, MD, PhD
"The quality and breadth of the grants supported by the WES Foundation is outstanding. The investigators who have been funded by the WES Foundation include some of the leading researchers in the field. These grants are instrumental in helping researchers obtain National Institutes of Health NIH-RO1 funding. One striking aspect of the WES Foundation is the extremely high ratio of dollars awarded to dollars raised. The WES Foundation has essentially no overhead and distributes nearly all of the money raised to support leukemia research. I enthusiastically support the WES Foundation’s mission as I feel it is a wonderful example of the power of philanthropy to rapidly meet unmet medical needs and to move the field of leukemia therapy forward at a rapid pace."
"Over the course the last year and half, the students and staff of Lanier High School in Sugar Hill, GA have had an amazing opportunity to work alongside the WES Foundation to enrich the lives of our students and local community. Sarah Babrick of the foundation spends at least one to two days a week on our campus working with our students on a project called Power Flower, which entails the creation of beautiful bouquets of plastic flowers made of recycled materials. These bouquets are being made for local leukemia patients who cannot be exposed to organic materials from outside the hospital but deserve flowers for cheer and encouragement like all people do. The project partners our Life & Health Science academy students with our Multimedia and Fine Arts academy students to plan, design, create, and distribute the flowers to nearby community hospitals. The WES Foundation works with our students to connect them to the materials and expertise they need to develop the project, and we've seen great participation from our students who are both learning more about charitable work and more about how terrible a disease leukemia really is.
By late spring of this year, our students in conjunction with WES will distribute hundreds of plastic flower bouquets in person to those who suffer from leukemia all while raising awareness to the need to fund research that is key to defeating this terrible form of cancer. We at Lanier love our partnership with WES and the time and energy they have put into our students and community. They are the epitome of what we look for in a community partner who understands authentic learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom when communities come together and work for common goals. We look forward to many more years of working with WES as our students get a chance to impact the lives around them all while inviting them to learn more about preventative health and the long-fought battle to end leukemia and other cancers."