The founder of the CF Josh Sommer was diagnosed with a skull-base chordoma in 2006 as a college freshman. Unwilling to accept the limited treatment options available to chordoma patients, he joined the lab of Dr. Michael Kelley at Duke University, where he spent the next two years studying chordoma. There, he experienced the very practical challenges faced by virtually all would-be chordoma researchers – insufficient funding; scarcity of tissue, cell lines and animal models needed for experiments; and isolation from others studying the disease. To solve these problems and proactively advance the search for a cure, Josh co-founded the Chordoma Foundation in 2007. Under his leadership, the Foundation has united and expanded the chordoma research community, and has vastly accelerated the pace of chordoma research.
Just one of the many CF accomplishments has been testing all FDA approved drugs against chordoma... over 1800 of them. Ponder that approach: Rather than finding a pharmaceutical company to invest hundreds of millions of dollars from research through the all stages of clinical trials to develop a cure, does an existing FDA approved drug already exist that would be effective against chordoma? The answer is yes, several show promise. What a concept!
People came from as far away as Canada and Hong Kong… it was a fabulous success and another great opportunity for Madison and her family to meet so many other chordoma journeyers and expert physicians. Kudos to USC for hosting the event and to Josh and his awesome Chordoma Foundation team. They are small… but they are mighty raising and investing over a million dollars in 2014 with a tactical, practical, and amazingly common sense approach leading the search for a cure.