The Reser Family Foundation has made a generous contribution to the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute (cc-TDI) in honor of Lakeridge High School student and cancer survivor, Eli Waehrer and other children & adolescents whose lives have been touched by cancer.

The Reser Family Foundation has made a sizable charitable donation to the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute (cc-TDI, cc-tdi.org)  to support research of a rare cancer of childhood called ASPS.
The Reser Family Foundation carries on the community-minded mission of Al and Pat Reser and aims to make a difference in the community by donating to four key tenets that results in broad wellbeing. The Reser Family Foundation donated to cc-TDI on behalf of Eli Waehrer and his family’s inspirational story. This generous donation will accelerate cc-TDI’s overall trajectory and will help cement the growth needed to continue making strides and improvements in the adolescent and young adult cancer, Alveolar Soft Parts Sarcoma (ASPS).
ASPS is an extremely rare type of soft-tissue sarcoma that generally affects children and young adults, but unlike many soft-tissue sarcomas, ASPS can present with early spread to other parts of the body. If surgery cannot remove the tumor(s), ASPS can be an overwhelming disease with no current FDA indicated course of treatment. Research towards new, non-chemotherapy medicines brings much-needed hope for families suffering through this disease.  “ASPS is the kind of rare cancer for which community-driven support and advances are key to needed breakthroughs”, says cc-TDI Scientific Director, Dr. Charles Keller.
cc-TDI’s internationally-collaborative research program for this cancer, called KickASPS! aims to use cells from local cancer patients as well as established cell lines to develop new treatment options to give families hope and offer a reminder that this type of cancer is not forgotten. This project was inspired by Nathalie Traller, another teen who faced ASPS and is remembered by her family and a broad Portland-area community. cc-TDI’s mission – to make all childhood cancers universally survivable – drives the project. If you are interested in following the KickASPS! program, please visit consano.org/projects/kickasps-asps-cell-line-project/.
The Waehrer family has been a major advocate for cc-TDI as well as pillars of the Lakeridge community. cc-TDI has continually been inspired by the family’s ability to rally the community to donate to worthy causes. Earlier this year, cc-TDI was fortunate to receive a generous donation from Lakeridge High School’s “Gold Week” during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The Lakeridge High students sold bracelets, t-shirts and other accessories to raise money for children’s cancer research, with the event wrapping up at the varsity football game, where players wore gold socks and ribbons to show support for cancer research.
Situated only minutes from both Nike and Intel Headquarters and the Portland downtown, cc-TDI occupies a unique position in cancer research, focusing on the preclinical gap of research to address the lack of advancement for rare childhood cancers. The researchers’ daily aim in the lab is to create innovative and less toxic therapies for children with rare forms of cancer. Today, 1-in-5 children will not survive their cancer diagnosis – cc-TDI is predicated on improving the long-term outlook.
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