The Baby J Ladley Pediatric Brain Tumor Fund: A Legacy of Love
Over the last 20 years, Beverly Ladley (pictured center) and her family have worked tirelessly to carry on her son’s legacy. Dedicating their time to fundraising for the pediatric oncology program at Levine Children’s, Beverly and her family and friends have collectively raised over $1 million through donations and the annual sale of high-end holiday ornaments to advance pediatric brain tumor research and treatment at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital. Learn more and support the Baby J Fund here or continue reading below.
Philanthropy in Action
Over the years, the Baby J Fund has been instrumental in helping to enhance the pediatric oncology program at Levine Children’s. A founding member of the Carolinas Kids Cancer Research Coalition, the Fund helped bring Phase I and II research trials to the region. They have also supported the hiring of Joanna Peters, Psy. D., Oncology Pediatric Neuropsychologist (pictured top left) to the team at Levine Children’s Hospital’s Department of Hematology and Oncology, as their first Pediatric Neuropsychologist. Dr. Peters works with children, adolescents, and young adults with brain tumors or other cancers with brain involvement. This includes conducting pre-surgical evaluations, post-operative screens, and comprehensive outpatient evaluations at various time points during and after a child’s treatment. She also offers neuropsychological/cognitive rehabilitation to assist her patients in rehabilitating affected cognitive areas or developing strategies to overcome cognitive weaknesses.
With Dr. Peters’ expertise and the support of the Baby J Ladley Pediatric Brain Tumor Fund, Levine Children’s Hospital is newly-equipped to begin developing a specialized clinic for addressing the needs of brain tumor patients, including pre- and post-surgical evaluations, cognitive rehabilitation, parent support, and much more.
Advancing Clinical Research
Today, the Baby J Fund is supporting the research effort of Dr. Giselle Sholler, chair of the Beat Childhood Cancer Research Consortium and medical director of the Isabella Santos Foundation Rare and Solid Tumor Program at Levine Children’s (pictured left). Dr. Sholler’s research will be conducted in the pediatric cancer translational research lab at Levine Children’s and will have an initial focus on the identification of novel therapies for pediatric brain cancers.
Studying new drugs in brain cancers requires significant preclinical laboratory work before we can offer new therapies to children in Phase I clinical trials. To get started, Dr. Sholler will use an IVIS Spectral Imager, an essential piece of equipment for any laboratory performing brain tumor work. With precise data and clarity from the imager, she and her team will study rare brain tumors with the goal of bringing effective medications forward for children with these cancers in new Phase I clinical trials. Baby J will be funding this new piece of state of the art technology, the first of its kind in the region!
All ornaments purchased and direct donations support the Pediatric Neuro-Oncology program at Levine Children’s Hospital. Donations help to advance brain tumor research, education, and training for Levine Children’s healthcare providers.