The Cure for Kids Blog

Serious illness gets serious attention

By Christina Varga

Perri Tutelman, 16, Richmond, B.C.

Concerned about breast cancer, Perri Tutelman began to research the potential of an herb in decreasing the effects of chemotherapy. At the same time, the Grade 11 student at SIDES school is dedicated to helping children with life threatening illnesses and established the Cures for Kids Foundation.

Ms. Tutelman has been a contributing researcher at the B.C. Cancer research Centre. Her research into the herb ar

temisinin suggests that its ability to inhibit cell growth may allow patients with breast cancer to undergo less chemotherapy. Her work was recognized with a gold medal at the Canada-wide science fair in 2009, a Canadian Medical Laboratory Association award and second place at the Sanofi Aventis Biotalent competition.

Ms. Tutelman has also worked as a pediatric support worker, and witnessing the devastation of serious illness in children inspired her to found Cures for Kids, a non-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for pediatric life-threatening illnesses.

She leads a team of student volunteers and a board of directors. The organization recently secured long-term corporate support through a partnership with Boston Pizza and raised $15,000 for a project for childhood cancers.

Cures for Kids received a national award of innovation from the Art of Living Foundation.

She has also volunteered at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and other recreational programs, working with children who have special needs.

Ms. Tutelman continues to do research at the University of British Columbia as a volunteer research assistant, looking into the role of hormones in auto-immune disorders through the use of transgenic, or genetically modified, models.

She plans to go to the University of British Columbia and hopes to get MD and PhD degrees, allowing her to pursue both research and clinical work, specializing in pediatric medicine.


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