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The Gilger Family: Research Changes Lives

Edie Gilger was only 6 months old when her parents thought her sick stomach and sleeping trouble weren’t typical kid issues. Their instincts were right – Edie was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma in December 2009. Despite an aggressive treatment plan, Edie’s cancer persisted.

Then, her parents discovered she was eligible for an Alex’s Lemonade Stand Funded-clinical trial at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for children with a specific cancer-causing gene called anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). The trial tested a drug called crizotinib, which aims to disrupt the ALK gene.

Edie’s family traveled from their home in Virginia to Philadelphia for treatment. While undergoing treatment, doctors also diagnosed Edie’s mother with neuroblastoma, the same cancer as her daughter. Miraculously, the trial worked and Edie was cured. Later, her mom beat the same disease using some of the knowledge gained from the trial that helped Edie. Today, they are both living happily free of side effects. Edie is now 10 and loves dancing, basketball, swimming and spending time with her friends.

Learn more about how ALSF changes the lives of kids with cancer at.

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