Necessities 100

We are finding new ways to help kids beat cancer.

Necessities 100 is a group of individuals who have diverse professional and personal backgrounds who are committed to enhancing and supplementing the mission of Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, which is to eliminate pediatric cancer and to provide hope and support to those who are touched by it. The members of Necessities 100 have made a personal commitment and have the power to make an impact in supporting new and cutting-edge studies, programs, and cures for pediatric cancer.


2017-2018 Project
Dr. Kathleen Sakamoto, MD., PhD
Stanford University

The overall survival of pediatric patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is 50% and less than 30% with relapsed acute lymphoblastic
leukemia (ALL). CREB (cAMP Response Element Binding Protein) is a protein that is overproduced in leukemia cells from patients with AML. CREB increases the growth and survival of immature blood cells resulting in AML. In addition, overexpression of the CREB protein in AML patients was associated with an increased risk of relapse and decrease in survival.

We are developing a small molecule that blocks the interaction of CREB and its binding partner CBP (CREB Binding Protein). We have a lead compound that blocks activity and kills AML and ALL cells. However, it is not powerful enough to treatpatients. Therefore, the funds from this grant will allow us to optimize this compound so that we can conduct a clinical trial. Our hope is that CREB inhibitors will lead to discovery of a new class of drugs that will be used to treat acute leukemia.

2016-2017 PROJECT
Could turning on and off a gene be the key to “turning off” childhood leukemia?

Dr. Sinisa “Sunny” Dovat is pursuing the answer to that very question at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Dr. Dovat was part of the scientific team who first discovered the gene Ikaros, which is known to play a key role in preventing childhood leukemia. Reduced activity of Ikaros leads to development of a high-risk childhood leukemia, with a poor prognosis. Recent scientific discovery has proven genes in the human body are not permanently “on” or “off.” Instead, genes are in a state of flux, naturally turning on or off based on specific stimuli and conditions. Dr. Dovat’s work is focused on discovering how to manipulate Ikaros to turn it on and off. If he and his team are able to find that solution, they may very well discover the “light switch” for turning off childhood leukemia.

necessities 100

Melanie Ahern
Robin Amstutz; Vice President, Integro USA, Inc.
Elena Anastasiou
Valerie Anderko; Director, Client Services, Novus Law
Gayle Anthony; National Sales Director, Paris Ceramics
Jodie Barbera; Philanthropist
Carrie Barr; COO, ISO Claims Partners
Melani Beattie; Associate Publisher, Boutique Design Magazine
Kristine Benker
Carrie Birkel; President/Director, Toss Designs, Inc.
Margot Bogue
Kristin Bowling; Marketing Insights & Business Intelligence, Women’s Health, AbbVie Inc.
Cheryl Nelson Boyd; Financial Advisor, Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
Beth Bracco; Director of Business Development, Blue Plate Chicago
Lana Bramlette; Founder & Designer, Lana Jewelry
Heidi Brock; Sales Director, Blue Plate Chicago
Meaghan Burdick; Co-Founder, 14th Street Strategies
Andrea CaputoRatio Chicago
Kristina Cardinali
Jill Carter; Communications Executive
Lynn Wertke CarroIl; Medical Device Sales
Kathleen A. Casey; CEO & Founder, Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation*
Whitney Christmas
Joan Clifford; Chairman of the Board, Goodman Theatre
Diane Cole; Operations Manager, Johnson & Krol LLC
Jane Corder; Broker Associate, @properties
Justyna Della Valle; Philanthropist
Ginger Diamond; Philanthropist
Kathy Diegel; Coldwell Banker
Lisa Diers
Michelle Doherty; Sr. VP, Chicago Capital Markets
Lori Doyle; Executive Strategist – Marketing & Branding, The Dojo Agency
Anne Edwards
Lisa Ehrhart
Dee Dee Ememert
Wendy Enerson; Litigation Partner, Cozen O’Connor 
Jeanne Ettleson; Philanthropist
Mindy Farkas; RN, MSN, CHPN; Care Manager, Palliation
Kristine Farra; Founder & CEO, Gold Coast Exclusive, Real Estate
Hillary Fash
Lindsey Fash
Mary Ann Fash
Nancy Fenton; Accounts Payable, MedService Repair
Celine Fitzgerald
Jane Fitzgerald
Nicki Pecori Fioretti; Director of Community Affairs, IL Housing Development Authority
Ann Fleming, CFP; Senior Vice President-Investments, The Turnbaugh Fleming Group of Raymond James and Associates
Deb Gallagher, CPA; Senior Vice President, Marsh Risk Consulting
Hedwig Golant
Melanie Goldish; Senior Partner, Momentum Unleashed
Joanne Gresavage; Director, Corporate Communications, Hollister Incorporated
Susan Hallen; IP Management Solutions & IP Portfolio Manger, IBM 
Barb Hartman; Founder & CEO, Go Beyond*
Hailey Hartman; Senior Account Executive, Target Team, Proctor & Gamble
Heidi Herman; Attorney
Carol Holbein; Dual Language Associate, District #200 Schools
Heidi Johanningmeier Houchen; Actor, Stewart Talent
Marie Hoy; Senior Buyer
Bonnie Hunt
Melinda Jakovich; KoenigRubloff Realty Group
Kim Jewett; CEO & Founder, Kimberly Jewett Consulting, Inc.
Leslie Jones; Philanthropist*
Demetria Kalodimos; News Anchor, WSMV-TV
Wendy Kazlusky
Rachel Kelley
Catherine Korp
Tracey Kreiling; Philanthropist
Patti Krupp; Philanthropist
Mary Lasky; Philanthropist
Beverly Lesmeister
Debra Loarie
Christine Bortman Mahoney; Hyperion Administrator, Presence Health
Claire Manaois; Managing Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations, iBlO*
Janet Mandell; Philanthropist
Elisa Manuel
Jennifer Mankowsky
Nina Mariano; Community Relations Manager, Mariano’s
Tiffany Marshall; Broker Associate, Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty
Beth Ann Martinelli
Lisa Hefner Masiello; SVP, Business Development, BluPrint Oncology Concepts
Shanna Khan McCabe; Philanthropist/Entrepreneur
Carla McCausland
Cheri McEssy; Owner & Chief Nursing Officer, BrightStar Care
Kristina McGrath; Director of Customer Relations, McGrath Imports
Helen Melchior; Philanthropist
Tracey Mendrek; Chief Communications Officer, Clayco
Mary Olson Menzel; President, MVP Executive Search and Development
Pamela Mikulec; Executive Advisor, Parthenon-EY
Lindsay Miller; D’Aprile Propeties
Mary Claire Moll; Brand Ambassador, Moll Law Group
Trish Moll; Senior Franchise Field Vice President, Ameriprise Financial
Beth Neuhoff; President, Neuhoff Communications*
Jennifer Nolden; Brand Development
Wendy Olmen; R.J. Olmen Company
Linda O’Toole
Dolly Jhonsa Patel; Philanthropist
Kathryn Pisco
Noreen Potempa
Diane Primo; Chairman & CEO, IntraLink Global LLC
Vonita Reescer; President, VDR & Associates LLC
Frances Renk; Philanthropist & Entrepreneur
Alison Renner; President-Life Sciences, RT Specialty
Kendall Reynolds; CEO / Design Director, Kendall Miles Designs LLC
Linda Ribskis; Philanthropist
Victoria Ricks
Bianca Richie
Kim Rosselle; Partner/Owner, Great Lakes Representatives
Donna Rotunno
Rose Ryndak
Rhonda Sanderson; Founder, Sanderson & Associates PR Firm
Janet Schiffman
Kathy Schmidt
Amy Schwartz-McDonald; Nordstrom
Tracy Scurto; Philanthropist
Charlene Seaman; Philanthropist
Izabela Sloma; Real Estate Consultant, Sergio and Banks Realty
Kelly T. Smith; President & CEO, Aon Benfield US
Anne Snyder
Jenny Spethmann
Jo Ann Spoor; Senior Director, Illinois Hospital Association
Janet Stanton
Nancy Stephans; Philanthropist
Tania Talman; Senior Director, Commerical Oncology, United Therapeutics
Darlene McElveen Tannenbaum; Carolina One New Homes
Katy Duncan Schoenwolf Tetta; Special Education
Mary Totten
Cheryl Tricoci; Mario Tricoci
Grazina Turkula; Director of Human Resources, ACCO Brands Corporation
Kelly Urso; Teacher
Shana Vitek; Family Law Partner, Beermann Pritikin Mirabelli Swerdlove LLP
Roopa Weber
MariAnn Weiss
Vanya Welgarz
Michelle Wexler
Felicia Winiecki
Kristyn Wujcik; Co-Founder, Live Like Abby

*Indicates focus group members.

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