AAGF presents Keegan’s Hope Research Grant to Harvard Medical School, Department of Genetics.

Avery’s Angels is humbled by the tremendous donation from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Academy per the suggestion of Gastroschisis mom Jessica Esparza and her husband, another cadet. The Sheriff Academy Class of 2017 raised $15,000 from their annual charity golf tournament for Avery’s Angels, our largest donation received in our eight year tenure.

Because of this amazing community’s generosity and work, we are finally able to send our $7,000 grant for Gastroschisis research to Harvard School of Medicine Department of Genetics. Dr. Nandan L. Nerurkar, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow Department of Genetics, presented the board and medical advisory panel very interesting and key early findings for gastroschisis late last fall and we are honored to provide this grant to further the understanding of this birth defect. This will be Avery’s Angels second research grant funded since 2016. With continued donation support, we hope to fund many others to help better understand this disease, diminish frequency, and better the outcomes.

The Keegan’s Hope Research Grant is named for Keegan Gilbrith of Texas (May 6, 2011 – December 13, 2016). Following a nominal stay in the NICU, and a non-complicated post recovery, Keegan passed suddenly from a bowel obstruction. Unfortunately, this is common with our survivors who are at an increased risk for intussusception, volvulus, and obstruction across their lifetime as part of the effects of this disease. AAGF wants to continue the hope of every patient affected by Gastroschisis. It is in that spirit we entrust these funds to Harvard School of Medicine and their research. We are excited to see what doors this opens up for a better understanding of the defect.