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Members of the OSI and Fabulous Faith's Foundation with FFF's $35,000 check to the OSI

Fabulous Faith’s Foundation Contributes $35,000 to the Osteosarcoma Institute for Breakthrough Research

This generous donation will provide funding for two osteosarcoma research projects, with one named for Faith Lautzenheiser, the foundation’s inspiration.

In 2013, 10-year-old Faith Rose Lautzenheiser entered heaven after her 10-month battle with osteosarcoma. Two years later, Fabulous Faith’s Foundation (FFF) was established by her family and friends to honor Faith’s joyful spirit. In February 2023, the foundation made a landmark contribution to the Osteosarcoma Institute (OSI) to support two breakthrough osteosarcoma research studies.

FFF’s work has always been very personal to the Lautzenheiser family. “We wanted to promote awareness of this horrible disease and raise money for osteosarcoma research so that hopefully one day, no other family will ever have to go through what our family went through,” says Ruth, Faith’s mom.

The mission of FFF centers around three pillars:

  • Assist families
  • Support facilities
  • Advance pediatric cancer research

“At the end of the day, we always come back to asking, ‘How can we honor Faith?’” says Ruth.

Discovering an Ally

Although the Lautzenheiser family is based near the OSI’s office in Dallas, Texas, the OSI did not exist when Faith was battling osteosarcoma. When FFF became aware of the OSI, however, they were attracted to its mission of concentrating on a cure for osteosarcoma, which dovetails with FFF’s mantra, “We Believe in a Cure.”

“We knew we had to be involved with the OSI in some way. I truly believe that one day, a cure for osteosarcoma will be found. Supporting institutions that further pediatric cancer research is one way we can help in that mission,” says Ruth.

Supporting Vital Osteosarcoma Research

This year, FFF joined forces with the OSI by providing a total of $35,000 in osteosarcoma research funding to two novel studies. FFF now has a pulse on innovative research that promises to yield potential treatment options for osteosarcoma patients.

“We wanted to promote awareness of this horrible disease and raise money for osteosarcoma research so that one day, no other family will ever have to go through what our family went through.” — Ruth Lautzenheiser

The first osteosarcoma research study that FFF is supporting — with a gift of $10,000 — is Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Phase II trial of Olaparib in combination with AZD6738 in patients with recurrent osteosarcoma. The study, led by Katherine Janeway, MD, director of clinical genomics at Dana-Farber, is evaluating the combination of two drugs that inhibit DNA repair pathways critical to the survival of osteosarcoma cells. This is the first study to test this combination in osteosarcoma patients.

Carrying Faith’s Name Forward

The second study is led by Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, MD, chief of pediatric oncology at the University of California San Francisco. FFF donated $25,000 to Dr. Sweet-Cordero’s research on the activation of STING as a therapeutic strategy in osteosarcoma. Shorthand for “stimulator of interferon genes,” STING is a feature of the immune system: a sensor that triggers an immune, cell-killing response. Dr. Sweet-Cordero’s research, using mouse models, aims to discover if something about osteosarcoma can be used to activate this pathway.

For this contribution, FFF participated in the OSI’s Partnering for Progress fund program, which allows donors who give $25,000 or more to name a research study after a loved one. FFF chose to name Dr. Sweet-Cordero’s study after Faith. As an added benefit of the Partnering for Progress program, FFF will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Dr. Sweet-Cordero and will receive reports on his study every six months.

“The OSI has given us the incredible opportunity to associate Faith’s name with an osteosarcoma research effort,” says Ruth. “To be able to carry on her name in this way is very meaningful for us.”

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