Putting an End to Pediatric Brain Cancer

During the summer of 2017, Shamon Ampey noticed her 2-year-old son, Ahmon, was having some strange symptoms. He had problems swallowing and occasionally experienced nose bleeds. When Ahmon started having issues with his balance, Ampey knew something was really wrong.

Ampey went to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital where experts discovered a cancerous mass in Ahmon’s brain. Dr. David Sandberg, Professor and Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, performed urgent surgery to remove Ahmon’s malignant brain tumor.

“You never expect that your child is experiencing something like that,” Ampey said. “Dr Sandberg has been amazing through this whole process. My other two children, Ahmon’s older brother and sister, have helped us handle it and move forward.”

According to Ampey, Ahmon has been doing extremely well since his surgery. At presentation, the tumor had already spread to several areas in the spine, but these areas are responding to chemotherapy.

Raising Money and Awareness for Brain Cancer and Pediatric Health Initiatives

Children like Ahmon have been able to get help thanks to Run for the Rose, an event that raises funds for research to treat brain tumors like his.

“Seeing all of the survivors, families and physicians unite for a common cause is always inspiring,” said Dr. Sandberg. “It’s this unification that gives us the strength to continue the efforts to eliminate pediatric brain cancer.”

Run for the Rose was established in 2003 by the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation to raise funds to aid brain cancer research and pediatric health initiatives at institutions like Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and others. Dr. Marnie Rose was a pediatric resident at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital who was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. Sadly, Dr. Rose died on August 23, 2002, from complications of her cancer, but her legacy lives on. Since its establishment, the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation has generated more than $5.7 million in donations.

In addition to funding research and other initiatives, the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation in 2015 established the Dr. Marnie Rose Professorship in Pediatric Neurology, a permanent endowment for the use and benefit of McGovern Medical School. Dr. Sandberg, who is also affiliated with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, was selected as the first holder of the esteemed professorship.

Run for the Rose on April 8

Patients, family members and supporters will rally together on Sunday, April 8 in the fight against brain cancer as they race for a cure in the 16th annual Run for the Rose at NRG Park. The first run included only one or two brain cancer survivors. In recent years, the numbers have grown to over 5,500 participants and over 100 cancer survivors. While Ahmon will not be in attendance due to his recent treatments, his family will be there in support of Ahmon and other patients.

Want to participate in this worthy cause?

To register and view registration fees, please visit https://events.racepartner.com/runfortherose

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Ali Vise