Downtown Silver Spring-based United Therapeutics today announced it has partnered with former NFL player Devon Still and his daughter Leah, a survivor of high-risk neuroblastoma, to launch the educational initiative Braving NeuroBLASToma.
The initiative, launched during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, aims to shine a light on neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer affecting immature nerve cells called neuroblasts.
Neuroblastoma often develops in infants and children under the age of five, but the average age of diagnosis is between one and two years old.
According to Cancer.Net, approximately 800 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma, accounting for seven to ten percent of all childhood cancers in the U.S.
At the time of diagnosis, nearly 70 percent of children will have advanced or metastatic neuroblastoma, with only half of these patients achieving remission.
Neuroblastoma can start to form in several places including near the abdomen, spine, chest, or adrenal glands.
“When I first learned that Leah had high-risk neuroblastoma, the sense of fear and helplessness was so overwhelming that I struggled to know where to begin,” said Devon Still in a statement.
“Over the years, so many in the childhood cancer community have shown us how much they care each and every step of the way, from making the tough decisions to ensuring Leah’s comfort while undergoing treatment.
Partnering with United Therapeutics enables us to share our personal experiences with braving neuroblastoma and lend others the support we so generously received throughout the years.”
United Therapeutics’ DDOMAL facility, located at the intersection of Spring St. and Cameron St. in downtown Silver Spring, produces Unituxin, a monoclonal antibody-based orphan drug treatment for pediatric neuroblastoma.