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Frequently Asked Questions

What is PLGA?

PLGA stands for Pediatric Low Grade Astrocytoma and is the most common form of childhood brain tumor (ages 0-19). It can be life threatening depending on its location in the brain, and whether or not the tumor can be removed surgically. Its presence and potential growth carries substantial risks and without question the current treatments available impinge on quality of life for those affected. Brain tumors are the #1 cause of cancer death in children, and the #2 overall cause of childhood death behind accidents

What are the current treatment options for PLGA?

According to experts, current treatments are limited to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. All three options offer conflicting and potentially incomplete solutions. All three also often result in added critical complications and permanent adverse side effects due to the punishing nature of the therapies. Furthermore, a subset of PLGA kids, estimated 30-40% overall, will develop progressive disease, according to experts and treatments are far from optimal. These experts say that although radiation and chemo is being made safer it is unlikely to cure many more children with PLGA. In a similar way many experts predict that new chemotherapy regimes will not make "quantum leaps" in the statistics of survival.

Why aren't there kinder, gentler, more effective treatments available?

Families of children with PLGA have held false hopes that research advances were progressing rapidly. This is NOT the case. Historically, PLGA has lagged behind advancements in other childrens’ cancers, such as childhood leukemia, DUE TO LACK OF FUNDING. As a result, many new drugs have not been tested on PLGA, and clinical studies have been stalled. This is especially disconcerting now that we know researchers and scientists are poised to make progress if funding were available.

Is teamhailey.org raising funds for a particular organization?

teamhailey.org is teamed with a non-profit 501c3 foundation called The Fight PLGA Foundation (www.fightPLGA.org). Fight PLGA was started a few years ago by parents and family of children affected by PLGA when they realized there was no research and progress being made to help save their children. All donations received through teamhailey.org will be funneled directly to The Fight PLGA Foundation and go solely to PLGA SPECIFIC research and search for a cure.

Who is behind the teamhailey.org website?

teamhailey.org was started and is run by Brian and Shannon Meltz, the parents of Hailey and her older sister Faith. With a tremendous amount of help from other family, friends, and businesses, our goal is to raise awareness and SIGNIFICANT funds to speed up results towards finding kinder, gentler treatments and a 100% cure for PLGA. We are also getting involved in more national efforts with the great people at The Fight PLGA Foundation to ensure all angles of this quest are being covered and RAPID progress is being made. We are in the fight of our lives...a fight to save our daughter and the thousands like her around the country, and give ourselves a chance to fulfill the hopes and dreams we have for our family in general.

How can I help support this cause?

Click on the "Join the Team" button on the upper right hand side of this page and most other pages on this site.