Gift to Fund Groundbreaking Research into Pediatric Spinal Cord Tumors
San Diego, Calif. – July 29, 2021 — Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation is honored to announce a lead gift that will establish The Nathan Gordon Chair in Neuro-Oncology for the Director of the Neuro-Oncology Program. The chair will provide programmatic support, continue groundbreaking research and clinical trials, as well as fund academic meetings and symposiums focused on pediatric spinal cord tumor research.
“Establishing a chair represents the creation of an enduring resource that will propel new achievements in pediatric precision medicine and fuel future advances,” said Patrick Frias, MD, President and CEO of Rady Children’s Hospital. “It has the potential to improve treatments and save the lives of children with brain and spinal cord tumors, and truly make a difference for the patients and families that rely on Rady Children’s services and expertise.”
The new position honors the memory of Nathan Gordon who was diagnosed with a rare tumor in his spinal cord when he was just 15 months old. Nathan underwent multiple spinal surgeries and extensive treatment at Rady Children’s Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Nathan’s parents, Andrew and Denise Gordon, founded the Celebrating Futures Fund in 2012 to benefit the various components of the neuro-oncology program and eventually to establish the Gordon Fellowship in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, a one-year fellowship involving subspecialty rotations in Neurosurgery, Neuropathology, Radiation Oncology and Neuroradiology.
“Nathan’s joy and incredible spirit touched everyone he met. While we all deeply feel his loss, Nathan’s legacy will continue to inspire us,” said John Crawford, MD, MS, director of the Neuro-Oncology Program at Rady Children’s. “The establishment of the Nathan Gordon Chair will provide resources for the Neuro-Oncology Program to host academic meetings and symposiums focused on pediatric spinal cord tumor research, not only putting Rady Children’s Neuro-Oncology on the map as a leader in spinal cord tumors, but also allowing Rady Children’s to initiate and lead collaborative research efforts for both pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors around the world.”
Neuro-Oncology at Rady Children’s is multidisciplinary and the only program in the San Diego region providing comprehensive care to children and young adults with brain and spinal cord tumors. The team cares for more than 750 children with newly diagnosed or previously treated central nervous system tumors and is one of the highest-volume programs in California. Rady Children’s is leading the way in tailoring therapy based on the molecular and functional characteristics of each patient’s tumor, resulting in improved outcomes for children with these devastating diseases. The expert multidisciplinary team includes physicians from Hematology-Oncology, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Radiology, Endocrinology/Diabetes, Rehabilitation Medicine, Ophthalmology and Pathology. Additionally, the team partners with Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine to assist in both the diagnosis and management of children with central nervous system tumors. This utilizes the Institute’s rapid whole genome sequencing platform and other molecular profiling technologies to detect novel mutations and pathways involved in tumor growth.
“Most importantly, this new investment will ensure that patients—here and beyond—can live their best lives, thanks to the transformative work of exceptional faculty,” said Stephen Jennings, Senior Vice President and Chief External Affairs Officer and Executive Director, Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation. “It is from the incredible generosity of our donor community that Rady Children’s will continue to find new cures and improved treatments for children today, tomorrow and for generations to follow.”
Media Contact: Ben Metcalf
About Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego:
Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego is a 505-bed pediatric care facility providing the largest source of comprehensive pediatric medical services in San Diego, southern Riverside and Imperial counties. Rady Children’s is the only health system in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric healthcare and is the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. In June 2021, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rady Children’s among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in all ten pediatric specialties the magazine surveyed. Rady Children’s is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations to support its mission. For more information, visit rchsd.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo.