Ryan Gibson Foundation Gives $500K to the Arkansas Children's Research Institute

by Mark Friedman  on Friday, Apr. 14, 2017 1:43 pm  

The Ryan Gibson Foundation of Dallas awarded on Friday $500,000 for cancer research in the new precision medicine program at Arkansas Children’s Research Institute.

"Precision medicine uses information from a given to design a medical plan for an individual based on his or her environment, lifestyle, health condition and genetic makeup," Greg Kearns, president of the Arkansas Children's Research Institute, said in a news release. "The goal of precision cancer medicine in conditions such as cancer is to customize treatments by tailoring them to the genetic characteristics of not only a patient but in some circumstances, the genetic code which is characteristic of many cancers. Therefore, children receive treatments that are individualized and age-appropriate rather than a one-size-fits-all approach."

The award is a result of a challenge made by former Arkansas Children's Hospital board member Haskell Dickinson and the Trinity Foundation, which pledged $1 million for precision medicine and asked others to donate the remaining $700,000 needed to fully fund the program.

"The Arkansas Children's Research Institute is on the leading edge of looking at children as individuals and developing appropriate treatments based on each child's needs," Don Gibson, Ryan's father, said in the news release.

Arkansas Children's Research Institute is on the campus of Arkansas Children's Hospital. The Ryan Gibson Foundation was founded in 2001. A native of Springdale, Gibson was diagnosed with leukemia in 1995 at the age of 19. He had a successful bone marrow transplant to treat the leukemia and graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 2000. In January 2001, while waiting to begin medical school, he was diagnosed with pneumonia. His immune system, weakened from the leukemia and bone marrow transplant, couldn’t fight it off, and he later died.



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