By Michael Quinn
Donor support empowers Dana-Farber to change the lives of patients everywhere. And when a drug developed at the Institute saved a brave girl on the other side of the country, her parents wanted to help Dana-Farber do the same for other children.
In 2021, Vidhya Navalpakkam and Debo Dutta established the “Brave Kids Fight Cancer Fund” at Dana-Farber with the goal of raising $100,000 to fuel clinical trials in pediatric leukemia under the direction of Andrew Place, MD, PhD, co-director of the Pediatric Hematologic Malignancies Center.
“Dana-Farber’s cancer research gives kids a chance to live, and we hope to help more kids benefit from the cutting-edge treatments, too.”Vidhya Navalpakkam and Debo Dutta
The San Francisco Bay-area couple established the fund because of Dana-Farber’s role in advancing cancer therapies that help children like their daughter, Apu. Knowing that clinical trials speed the delivery of such new medicines to patients, Navalpakkam and Dutta rallied their networks, and thanks to the generosity of family, friends, and colleagues, surpassed their goal. They continue to raise money to support Dr. Place’s work.
Diagnosed at age 5, Apu is now a happy and healthy 12-year-old—so Dana-Farber will always be close to her parents’ hearts, no matter its distance from their California home. Vidhya and Debo said, “Dana-Farber’s cancer research gives kids a chance to live, and we hope to help more kids benefit from the cutting-edge treatments, too.”