In Memory of Declan Gloster

Benefiting Dr. Monje
  • My Goal:
  • $15,000
  • Raised So Far:
  • $26,662
  • # of Donations:
  • 162
$26662 of $15000 goal
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Please join me in supporting the research laboratory of Dr. Michelle Monje at Stanford which is doing research on astrocytoma, the cancer that took Declan from us. The research is to help identify, develop and test potential treatments for this deadly disease. Post mortem, Declan donated his cancer tissue to the laboratory. Please consider making a financial donation now by clicking on the link above.  THANK YOU!

 

                        

A GLIMPSE OF DECLAN

Born and raised in Santa Barbara with his older and his younger brother, Yannick and Eoghan, Declan’s life had been very full and active.

He was an eager and happy student initially at Montessori Center School and later at Vieja Valley Elementary School, playing "knockout" on the basketball court, biking to school, studying hard and developing his strong sense of humor.

He was not only serious about school, he excelled at many outdoor activities. He was an avid sailor with the Santa Barbara Seashell Association, loved the ocean and learned to kite board in Ireland. When snowboarding in Mammoth, CA, he would take the first lift up in the morning and the last lift up in the evening to make most of the day.

During his summers in France, he enjoyed horse riding, swimming, fishing, surfing, biking and kayaking with friends. He felt a special connection when visiting family in Ireland and France every summer.

A few years ago, he also discovered the pleasure of learning the cello. He genuinely appreciated the instrument and enjoyed being a musician.

Over the years, all who knew him could see he was kind hearted, smart, determined, sometimes naughty, mostly funny and easy to talk to.

 

                         

DECLAN'S MEDICAL JOURNEY

Declan was 11 years old and in 6th grade, when on January 28, 2015, he was diagnosed with an astrocytoma high in his cervical spinal cord. Astrocytoma, a type of glioma is a very rare spinal cord tumor in children. His tumor was diffuse, meaning that the cancer cells and the healthy nervous fibers were all intermeshed in his spinal cord. Declan’s tumor had been asymptomatic and undetected until out of the blue, and over the course of a few hours, his left hand, arm and leg weakened significantly.

Being diffuse, the tumor could not be removed surgically. Under the care of his medical team from Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, Dr. Danielpour and Dr. Majlessipour, he underwent surgery to get a biopsy of the tumor and to open the back of his vertebrae (laminectomy) to create additional space for his spinal cord to alleviate nerve compression. Declan then underwent Proton Radiation Therapy for six weeks, at the Scripps Proton Therapy Center in San Diego.

It was not a surprise, that from the beginning, Declan worked very hard at regaining his health and strength. He kept a positive outlook during all his medical procedures. He was inventive in adapting activities he liked to supplement his physical and occupational therapy and worked tirelessly at them. Unable to continue cello he started piano, he switched to a sleek recumbent bike to keep biking, he became a better sailor by using his balance, technical skills and judgment to compensate for a loss of physical strength. He missed kite-boarding.

Things were looking good up to mid August when his cancer metastized into his meninges (covering layer of the brain) and spinal fluid: he now had Leptomeningial disease. It was an extremely rare and deadly progression for his type of cancer. He underwent surgery to place a shunt in his brain to relieve painful pressure. He also started an agressive chemotherapy treatment. However, his body quickly weakened. Somehow despite all this, he continued to show focus, drive and an incredible courage until the very end. He just never gave up and maximized every moment. He was at home for his last four months and fully trusted the love from his family and friends. He took his last breath peacefully in his sleep, at home on December 28, 2015, only 11 months after his initial diagnosis.

Declan lived his short life to its fullest, his contagious energy and overall enthusiasm will be remembered by his many friends. He did not die because "he put on a good fight and did not win". He died because there is currently nothing more that could have been done against his form of cancer.

Post mortem, Declan donated his cancer tissue to Dr. Michelle Monje's research laboratory, at Stanford University. 

 

              

RESEARCH

Dr. Monje is a pediatric oncologist, with a PhD in neuroscience. The focus of her research laboratory is on pediatric diffusely infiltrating gliomas, which include astrocytoma, Declan's cancer.

Dr. Monje's laboratory has discovered that most pediatric diffusely infiltrating gliomas shared quite a bit of biology in common, and in particular that gliomas of the nervous system midline (spinal cord, pons, thalamus) are quite similar to each other molecularly.

The laboratory has developed a culture method to separate the diffusely infiltrating tumor cells from the normal nervous tissue. Worldwide there are very few cultures of pediatric astrocytomas that originated in the spinal cord (Declan's cancer), as a result, it has been difficult to study them. Hence, the donation of his cancer tissue may be very valuable for future research.

His tissue donated to Dr. Monje's laboratory will be helpful for research by:

1) Establishing a viable culture of the cancer in a dish (cell line): the reproduction of Declan's cancer cells. This is an extremely difficult process. The cancer cell line will also be shared with other research laboratories to test potential drugs. By implanting the cultivated cells into the nervous system of a mouse model, the disease can be studied in-vivo. Theses studies are often precursor to human clinical trials for new treatments.

The logistic of a tissue donation like Declan's, costs about $5,000 and approximately $1,000 per week, for tissue culture reagents to maintain and expand the culture.

So far, the cell culture from Declan's tissue has been growing well and is on its way of becoming a "cell line".

2) Performing a full genetic analysis of Declan's cancer (sequencing its genome: DNA, RNA) to better understand particular mutations, the molecular composition, commonality with other cancers and therefore identifying a path to defeat it.

It costs about $1,000 to sequence the genome of a tumor and $1,000 to sequence the RNA of a tumor.

3) Developing new imaging technology to study cancer behavior in animal models and understanding how the tumor cells interact with normal cells.

 

          

YOU CAN HELP

As his mother, there are no words that can express the profound pain and feeling of emptiness of knowing that I will not see Declan grow up and go on with his life.

Over the years, extensive commitment to cancer research has thankfully led to real victories against other types of cancer. The victory against pediatric astrocytoma and gliomas in general has yet to be won, and the battle needs to be funded.

In Declan’s memory, please consider making a tax deductable financial donation directly to the research led by Dr. Monje.

It is my hope that in the not to distant future, young boys and girls diagnosed with these terrible cancers, will have a fighting chance for a better future because of this research.

Every gift makes a meaningful impact in the lives of patients and families. Thank you for your support!

Please consider donating $50 or more, now, by clicking on the link above. Don't forget to write a note about a memory of Declan or other. THANK YOU!

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Declan Gloster is fundraising for Honor / Memorial Page benefiting Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health.

Please join me in supporting the research laboratory of Dr. Michelle Monje at Stanford which is doing research on astrocytoma, the cancer that took Declan from us. The research is to help identify, develop and test potential treatments for this deadly disease. Post mortem, Declan donated his cancer tissue to the laboratory. Please consider making a financial donation now by clicking on the link above.  THANK YOU!

 

                        

A GLIMPSE OF DECLAN

Born and raised in Santa Barbara with his older and his younger brother, Yannick and Eoghan, Declan’s life had been very full and active.

He was an eager and happy student initially at Montessori Center School and later at Vieja Valley Elementary School, playing "knockout" on the basketball court, biking to school, studying hard and developing his strong sense of humor.

He was not only serious about school, he excelled at many outdoor activities. He was an avid sailor with the Santa Barbara Seashell Association, loved the ocean and learned to kite board in Ireland. When snowboarding in Mammoth, CA, he would take the first lift up in the morning and the last lift up in the evening to make most of the day.

During his summers in France, he enjoyed horse riding, swimming, fishing, surfing, biking and kayaking with friends. He felt a special connection when visiting family in Ireland and France every summer.

A few years ago, he also discovered the pleasure of learning the cello. He genuinely appreciated the instrument and enjoyed being a musician.

Over the years, all who knew him could see he was kind hearted, smart, determined, sometimes naughty, mostly funny and easy to talk to.

 

                         

DECLAN'S MEDICAL JOURNEY

Declan was 11 years old and in 6th grade, when on January 28, 2015, he was diagnosed with an astrocytoma high in his cervical spinal cord. Astrocytoma, a type of glioma is a very rare spinal cord tumor in children. His tumor was diffuse, meaning that the cancer cells and the healthy nervous fibers were all intermeshed in his spinal cord. Declan’s tumor had been asymptomatic and undetected until out of the blue, and over the course of a few hours, his left hand, arm and leg weakened significantly.

Being diffuse, the tumor could not be removed surgically. Under the care of his medical team from Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles, Dr. Danielpour and Dr. Majlessipour, he underwent surgery to get a biopsy of the tumor and to open the back of his vertebrae (laminectomy) to create additional space for his spinal cord to alleviate nerve compression. Declan then underwent Proton Radiation Therapy for six weeks, at the Scripps Proton Therapy Center in San Diego.

It was not a surprise, that from the beginning, Declan worked very hard at regaining his health and strength. He kept a positive outlook during all his medical procedures. He was inventive in adapting activities he liked to supplement his physical and occupational therapy and worked tirelessly at them. Unable to continue cello he started piano, he switched to a sleek recumbent bike to keep biking, he became a better sailor by using his balance, technical skills and judgment to compensate for a loss of physical strength. He missed kite-boarding.

Things were looking good up to mid August when his cancer metastized into his meninges (covering layer of the brain) and spinal fluid: he now had Leptomeningial disease. It was an extremely rare and deadly progression for his type of cancer. He underwent surgery to place a shunt in his brain to relieve painful pressure. He also started an agressive chemotherapy treatment. However, his body quickly weakened. Somehow despite all this, he continued to show focus, drive and an incredible courage until the very end. He just never gave up and maximized every moment. He was at home for his last four months and fully trusted the love from his family and friends. He took his last breath peacefully in his sleep, at home on December 28, 2015, only 11 months after his initial diagnosis.

Declan lived his short life to its fullest, his contagious energy and overall enthusiasm will be remembered by his many friends. He did not die because "he put on a good fight and did not win". He died because there is currently nothing more that could have been done against his form of cancer.

Post mortem, Declan donated his cancer tissue to Dr. Michelle Monje's research laboratory, at Stanford University. 

 

              

RESEARCH

Dr. Monje is a pediatric oncologist, with a PhD in neuroscience. The focus of her research laboratory is on pediatric diffusely infiltrating gliomas, which include astrocytoma, Declan's cancer.

Dr. Monje's laboratory has discovered that most pediatric diffusely infiltrating gliomas shared quite a bit of biology in common, and in particular that gliomas of the nervous system midline (spinal cord, pons, thalamus) are quite similar to each other molecularly.

The laboratory has developed a culture method to separate the diffusely infiltrating tumor cells from the normal nervous tissue. Worldwide there are very few cultures of pediatric astrocytomas that originated in the spinal cord (Declan's cancer), as a result, it has been difficult to study them. Hence, the donation of his cancer tissue may be very valuable for future research.

His tissue donated to Dr. Monje's laboratory will be helpful for research by:

1) Establishing a viable culture of the cancer in a dish (cell line): the reproduction of Declan's cancer cells. This is an extremely difficult process. The cancer cell line will also be shared with other research laboratories to test potential drugs. By implanting the cultivated cells into the nervous system of a mouse model, the disease can be studied in-vivo. Theses studies are often precursor to human clinical trials for new treatments.

The logistic of a tissue donation like Declan's, costs about $5,000 and approximately $1,000 per week, for tissue culture reagents to maintain and expand the culture.

So far, the cell culture from Declan's tissue has been growing well and is on its way of becoming a "cell line".

2) Performing a full genetic analysis of Declan's cancer (sequencing its genome: DNA, RNA) to better understand particular mutations, the molecular composition, commonality with other cancers and therefore identifying a path to defeat it.

It costs about $1,000 to sequence the genome of a tumor and $1,000 to sequence the RNA of a tumor.

3) Developing new imaging technology to study cancer behavior in animal models and understanding how the tumor cells interact with normal cells.

 

          

YOU CAN HELP

As his mother, there are no words that can express the profound pain and feeling of emptiness of knowing that I will not see Declan grow up and go on with his life.

Over the years, extensive commitment to cancer research has thankfully led to real victories against other types of cancer. The victory against pediatric astrocytoma and gliomas in general has yet to be won, and the battle needs to be funded.

In Declan’s memory, please consider making a tax deductable financial donation directly to the research led by Dr. Monje.

It is my hope that in the not to distant future, young boys and girls diagnosed with these terrible cancers, will have a fighting chance for a better future because of this research.

Every gift makes a meaningful impact in the lives of patients and families. Thank you for your support!

Please consider donating $50 or more, now, by clicking on the link above. Don't forget to write a note about a memory of Declan or other. THANK YOU!

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Support Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford.

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Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health

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