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Gift rings hope for pediatric patients

Diane Lokey Farb supports crucial research at Children’s Cancer Hospital

 Houston philanthropist Diane Lokey Farb visits one of the bell niches at the newly renovated MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital with David Sandberg, M.D., whose research her recent gift supports. Photo by F. Carter Smith


By Sarah Watson

Main Street at the newly renovated MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital is an active throughway connecting inpatient pods, a play park and family amenity rooms. It’s also where patients, family and staff gather to “ring the bell,” a tradition celebrating the completion of treatment and a joyful milestone.

Houston philanthropist and longtime MD Anderson supporter Diane Lokey Farb, who recently contributed $500,000 to the Children’s Cancer Hospital in honor of her late husband, Harold Farb, was among supporters visiting Main Street and other areas of the expanded space at a re-opening ceremony in May. Of special note that evening, near one of two brass bell niches, was a plaque honoring the couple’s philanthropy. It’s a fitting place to recognize this generous gift that provides hope and courage in the fight against cancer.

 Photo by Adolfo Chavez III

Diane Lokey Farb’s gift will support two novel clinical trials for pediatric patients.

  • Immunotherapy for Treating Relapsed Pediatric Solid Tumors, led by Dean Lee, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Pediatrics-Patient Care, focuses on using natural killer cells, from a child’s own immune system or from a donor, to target and kill cancer cells.
  • The gift also provides year-one seed funding for Targeting Childhood Brain Tumors With Less Risk, a trial led by David Sandberg, M.D., clinical specialist in Neurosurgery.  Its goal is to revolutionize pediatric brain tumor treatment by delivering chemotherapy directly to the tumor site, improving effectiveness and reducing often debilitating side effects.

     VIDEO: Click on the image to hear about the Children's Cancer Hospital reopening.

"I had the opportunity to tour the children’s hospital long before the renovations were underway and saw firsthand the need for a more cohesive and comfortable space,” says Diane. “During that visit I heard about the cutting-edge work of Dr. Lee and Dr. Sandberg. Harold would be as pleased as I am to support this important research and to congratulate the hospital on its long-awaited, beautiful new space.”

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center