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Promising Leukemia Discovery When donors contribute to the general benefit of Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, some of their dollars offer hope to sick children by supporting the groundbreaking work of medical researchers. Just steps away from Riley at the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, RileyMark Kelley, Ph.D. funded scientists are happy to report Associate Director, Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research they have made a noteworthy advance in treating Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) which is the second leading cause of death in children today. This promising lab discovery may eventually provide life-saving treatment to patients with relapsed T-cell leukemia — a diagnosis which often carries a poor prognosis. This discovery is the work of Wells Center Associate Director Mark Kelley, Ph.D., fellow Wells Center scientist Melissa Fishel, Ph.D., and Angelo Cardoso, M.D., Ph.D. of the IU Simon Cancer Center. They have identified a molecular target and pathway in ALL, and developed unique small molecules to direct at the ALL target. Lab-based studies demonstrate that the new agents have significant effects in conquering leukemia cells. The next step is already underway and more complex studies are now being done so that this discovery can be used to help patients as quickly as possible. “As a scientist doing translational research (research that can move quickly from the bench to the bedside) it is doubly gratifying to see our efforts result in such promising leads,” explains Kelley. “This not only will help put better weapons in the hands of the physicians but will ultimately result in better outcomes for our patients and provide another piece of the puzzle we need to move closer to a 100% cure rate.” Kelley says his greatest wish is for his job to become obsolete so that he can begin translating what’s been learned about pediatric cancers to adult cancers. He says with the current economic climate eroding federal research funds, however, donor support for the fight against cancer is more critical than ever. “Giving from the heart results in lives and families saved,” says Kelley. “And who knows what those saved lives will accomplish?”

Kyle Malone with USA Funds meets Riley patient Malia Ruiz in the new classroom

New Classroom for Riley Kids For children, learning doesn’t have to stop when illness begins. The Riley Hospital for Children School Program tutors nearly 600 patients each year, ensuring that their educations remain on track while they are receiving medical care. For the first time, Riley students now have a classroom of their own. The classroom in the new Simon Family Tower has been named in honor of USA Funds because of their ongoing financial support of the Riley School Program. The classroom offers students a designated place to complete school assignments and access computers. It also gives teen parents of NICU patients a place to work on GED programs. USA Funds staff members with the company toured the new classroom and met students — a memorable way to witness the deep impact of their generosity.


More Help for Abuse Victims When children are hurt by the actions of an adult, what they need most is a safe, loving place to turn for help. The Child Protection Program at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health is a leader in the state in caring for children who have been abused or neglected. In 2009-2010, the program consulted on more than 850 physical abuse or Dr. Roberta Hibbard neglect cases and 1,000 sexual abuse cases. Donor support is critical in making these services available to children, according to Riley Child Protection Program Director, Roberta Hibbard, M.D. “For every patient we see,” Hibbard explains, “there are at least 10 others we help without seeing them by advising physicians or caseworkers, working with law enforcement officers or appearing in court. We have four child abuse pediatricians on staff, yet what we bring in from traditional medical billing doesn’t even cover one salary.” For example, Dr. Hibbard says doctors in the Child Protection program spend more than 300 hours per year in court. Still, thanks to a generous donation from the Kohl’s Caring for Our Kids program, a new service will be offered for children starting in January — mental health counseling for child sexual abuse victims through the Pediatric Center of Hope program. “There are extremely limited counseling treatment services available for child sexual abuse victims,” explained Dr. Hibbard. “Our hope is to provide the services and fill a need, while also educating other providers in the community to ensure that help for these children becomes more widely available.” Dr. Hibbard says donors are the key to allowing Riley to keep reaching out to more families to prevent and treat child abuse. “An investment in the program is an investment for the entire community and especially the children.”

Did you know

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Each year children from all 92 Indiana counties turn to Riley and its regional clinics throughout the state more than 358,000 times

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The 650,000 square foot Simon Family Tower opened to patients in 2011 with more units set to open this year

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Riley Hospital treats 85% of Indiana children diagnosed with cancer

Infant Massage Expanding The power of touch is a force to be reckoned with, especially for Riley’s tiniest patients. 12-week-old Sophie Claxton from Shelbyville is undergoing treatment for leukemia. Child Life Specialists taught her mother, Jennie Claxton, how to perform infant massage. “When I laid her down and began the massage she was instantly smiling,” said Jennie. “She’s had a lot of digestive problems from the chemotherapy, and they showed me techniques to make her more comfortable. It was extremely beneficial.” Studies show babies who are massaged gain more weight, sleep better and are less irritable. Research also suggests massage can lead to superior development. In the coming year, even more infants at Riley will benefit from the healing power of massage. Four Child Life Specialists are currently receiving infant Jennie Claxton learns to massage her daughter, Sophie. massage training, and Child Life Specialist Krista Ward is enrolled in a year-long training program to become a licensed massage therapist. Jennie Claxton says she has one message for the generous donors who are helping bring comfort to babies like Sophie. “Thank you. Just – thank you.”


Donor Impact Report General Benefit