Home > About JKF > Our Initiatives

Our Initiatives

Purchased Computer Software

Purchased Computer Software

In 1999, we donated $10,000 The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Monies were used to purchase computer software that helped scientists understand how the abnormality of chromosomes affects leukemia, especially AML which is its most deadly form, and the kind that Josh had.

Funding of "The Joshua Kahan Fund Research Scientist"

Funding of The Joshua Kahan Fund Research Scientist

In 2000, we donated $50,000 to Fund the “The Joshua Kahan Fund Research Scientist” at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This newly created position gave doctors something they desperately needed at the time, an additional scientist to help do research into pediatric leukemia.

Funding of Playrooms and Parents Alcove

Funding of Playrooms and Parents Alcove

In 2004, our $150,000 donation helped children “Smile”. We funded the Building of 2 separate playrooms and a Parents Resource Alcove. The first playroom is for all oncology patients and their families. It is filled with toys and crafts and is a place that children & families can spend time together and “Smile”. The second one was designed especially for Bone Marrow Transplant Patients. This was the first time children recovering from such a life threatening procedure have their own separate playroom dedicated solely for their use. The Parents Resource Alcove is an area with a computer and printer that can be used by parents and families to go onto the internet and do their own form of research and gather additional information that they deem appropriate for themselves.

Funding of the "Joshua Project"

Funding of the Joshua Project

Our $250,000 donation funded a multiyear research initiative called The "Joshua Project". Research focused on what happens when genes become incorrectly joined together and the effects it has on leukemia. The objective of this work was to identify why these abnormal proteins form and to use this information to develop strategies for new therapies and diagnosis. This project has given doctors & scientist a better understanding of what actually happens to cause leukemia in children and how to better treat youngsters who are stricken with this dreadful disease.

"Joshua Project" Summary Submitted by Carolyn A. Felix, M.D. - August, 2001

The leukemia cells in the majority of infants with leukemia contain an abnormality called a chromosomal translocation. A translocation occurs when two different chromosomes in the cell break and become joined to each other. This causes genes on two different chromosomes to become joined and, in some cases, to produce an abnormal protein. In leukemia in infants a gene on chromosome 11 called the MLL gene breaks and fuses with one of many different genes from various different chromosomes. We discovered a family of genes called SEPTINS with multiple family members that can be joined to MLL in the MLL translocations. The purpose of this work is to understand whether two MLL-Septin fusion proteins resulting from these translocations cause leukemia in the mouse and to determine how long it takes for leukemia to develop. A period of many months to onset of leukemia might suggest that additional abnormalities in addition to translocation are needed for leukemia to occur. Leukemia in infants with MLL translocations are associated with a poor outcome and are difficult to treat. It is essential to characterize the molecular abnormalities leading to leukemia to arrive at better treatments; the mouse model provides the means to study the molecular abnormalities associated with the development of leukemia before leukemia occur, which otherwise is not possible.

Created an Endowment for "The Joshua Kahan Pediatric Leukemia Research Chair"

Created an Endowment for The Joshua Kahan Pediatric Leukemia Research Chair

In 2007, we made our largest donation since the inception of our Fund. We committed to donate $1,000,000 to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to create something that has never been done before; an endowed Research Chair solely dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric leukemia. Our donation was deemed so important that Children’s Hospital themselves agreed to donate an additional $1,000,000. This $2,000,000 endowment is unprecedented. Once completed The Joshua Kahan Pediatric Leukemia Research Chair will have continual funding to support high quality, state of the art research objectives at one of the #1 children’s hospital in world. It is our belief that funding like this will give doctors and scientists more tools than ever before and will undoubtedly help us find a cure for pediatric leukemia.