Chip data analysis enabled researchers to look into the genetic basis for certain low grade tumors

Diagnosis: Ganglioglioma on the brain stem

Hobbies: Dancing

Favorite Song: Vienna, by Billy Joel

When Kuhu was twelve-years-old, she went to her yearly checkup and told the doctor that she was having trouble writing, playing the clarinet, and that everyday activities were difficult because her right hand was not functioning properly. After numerous MRIs and meetings with several different doctors around the state, doctors found a small mass on her brain stem known as a benign Ganglioglioma brain stem tumor. Kuhu had surgery that removed most of the tumor followed by proton radiation therapy in Houston, Texas. Unfortunately, she continued to have trouble eating, drinking, and walking due to nausea. Another MRI showed that a new tumor had grown in a different location, triggering the nausea. That’s when she and her family found out about the research of Dr. Nick Foreman at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Under Dr. Foreman’s guidance, she’s begun a treatment course that is a combination of traditional chemotherapy and the new medication. So far this has been working well. Kuhu held a fundraiser where she raised over $5,000 for The Morgan Adams Foundation!

Kuhu is currently a senior in college and she plans to get her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health after graduation in May. Kuhu is still on chemotherapy and hopes to get off the medication in the near future.

MAF Impact:  Through chip data analysis, researchers were able to look into the genetic basis for certain low grade tumors which had previously been very difficult to treat.  This resulted in the identification of a specific treatable genetic mutation which, in Kuhu’s case, after radiation failed, resulted in dramatic improvement in scan results and in symptoms.