MIB Agents’ Community of Families Has Awarded Over $1.9M in Grants to Research Pediatric Bone Cancer

Leading Pediatric Osteosarcoma Nonprofit to Present $350,000 to 5 Scientists on June 21 to Find Kinder Treatments for Patients

BARNARD, Vt., June 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — MIB Agents, a leading pediatric osteosarcoma nonprofit dedicated to Making It Better for its community of patients, caregivers, doctors, and researchers, announced today that since its inception in 2016, it has awarded over $1.9 million to scientists across the country through its OutSmarting Osteosarcoma grant program. The OutSmarting Osteosarcoma grants are supported by MIB Agents Family Funds, osteosarcoma patients and families who raise funds in honor of an OsteoWarrior, a patient currently battling osteosarcoma or an OsteoAngel, a loved one who has passed.

As part of MIB Agents’ FACTOR Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, this June, the nonprofit will award $350,000 in grants to 5 scientists dedicated to moving osteosarcoma cancer research forward. Osteosarcoma is an aggressive, malignant, primary bone cancer affecting 800-900 people in the U.S. each year and is the most common bone cancer affecting children and young adults.

“Witnessing my brother undergo osteosarcoma treatment inspired me to pursue a career as a physician scientist, to find better therapies for childhood cancer,” said Arianexys Aquino-López, MD, PhD at Baylor College of Medicine. “I am fortunate to receive the MIB Agents OutSmarting Osteosarcoma Young Investigator Award. This will support pre-clinical studies which are essential for the design of future clinical trials for osteosarcoma treatment. I am thankful for the support provided by the family of OsteoAngel Sydney whose legacy we will honor through quality research.”

The OutSmarting Osteosarcoma grant represents a partnership between the scientific and patient community with patients and their families funding much-needed research. Patients and caregivers participate in the MIB Agents robust scientific review process alongside scientists, clinicians and researchers, offering a voice on how research will impact patient outcomes.

The OutSmarting Osteosarcoma 2024 grant recipients receiving $100,000 each for research will be awarded to:

  • Shahana S. Mahajan, PhD | Hunter College of the City University of New York
  • Jill Kolesar, PharmD | University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center

Recipients receiving a $50,000 Young Investigator grant include:

  • Arianexys Aquino-López, MD, PhD | Baylor College of Medicine | Granted Because of Sydney
  • Chelsey Burke, MD | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Granted Because of Ava
  • Betsy Young, MD | University of California, San Francisco | Granted Because of Charlotte

“In 2020 at age 13, our son, Daniel, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his left leg. One of the first things we learned about this disease was the fact that the treatment for it has not changed in the last 40 years,” said Vidi and Riny Saptari, parents of osteosarcoma survivor Daniel. “We wanted to make this part of our charitable giving – somehow to make it better for the families who must go through this journey and to support those who are trying to advance more effective treatments for this disease. We are glad to have MIB Agents as a ‘vessel’ to accomplish our goal. Having a Family Fund with MIB Agents and funding the OutSmarting Osteosarcoma grant takes the guesswork out of how to put our funds to good use because of the robust and thorough application review process.”

On June 20-22, MIB Agents will host its annual FACTOR conference in Cleveland where clinicians, researchers, industry partners, survivors, patients and bereaved families will come together to discuss progress in osteosarcoma research, officially award the OutSmarting Osteosarcoma grants, and connect the scientific and patient communities to collaborate.

“As soon as my daughter Ava was diagnosed with osteosarcoma it became painfully obvious that the chemotherapy treatment was outdated, not always successful, and very aggressive,” said Missy Levin, parent of OsteoWarrior Ava. “I knew that treatment was going to be rough and one of the only things that kept me going when I couldn’t pick myself up off the ground was raising money for MIB Agents. I poured all of my anger, fear, and sadness into raising money for research. When Ava was having a tough treatment or we got bad news, I reposted the Ava Family Fund link and watched all of our family and friends donate money. I’m hopeful that soon we will find better treatment and I know that we and MIB Agents will be right there to see it happen. We WILL Make It Better for all kids and adults with osteosarcoma.”

To learn more about MIB Agents, the OutSmarting Osteosarcoma grant program or to make a donation toward pediatric osteosarcoma research, please click here.

About MIB Agents
Founded in 2012, MIB Agents is a leading pediatric osteosarcoma nonprofit dedicated to making it better for our community of patients, caregivers, doctors, and researchers through programs, education, and research.

Media Contact:
Kelly Maicon