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Matt Cwiertny Memorial Foundation
A Charity for the Cure of Epstein-Barr Virus and Epstein-Barr Virus-Associated Diseases
Our Mission. The mission of the Matt Cwiertny Memorial Foundation is twofold: to find cures for the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and EBV–associated diseases, and to improve the quality of life for adolescents and young adults with cancer. To accomplish these goals, the MCMF raises money to fund medical research needed to cure EBV and EBV-associated diseases, with an emphasis on treatment regimes and cures for adolescents and young adults (15-29 years of age) diagnosed with EBV-associated diseases, such as Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and T- cell lymphoma. In addition, the MCMF seeks to raise public awareness of all EBV-associated diseases and the need to find cures for these terrible diseases, while providing programs to enhance the quality of life for adolescent and young adult cancer patients.
Background. Matt Cwiertny was a wonderful and vital 24-year-old young man who fought to overcome an immune system disorder that made him vulnerable to the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). Because there is not a vaccine for EBV, EBV overwhelmed Matt’s immune system on many occasions, leading him to develop EBV-HLH. HLH, also known as hemophagocytic syndrome, is a disorder of unregulated activation of lymphohistiocytic cells that results in hemophagocytosis,hypercytokinemia, and multi-organ (e.g., spleen, liver, lung, brain, or other vital organs) dysfunction, which without early treatment results in death. After a number of very severe battles with EBV-associated HLH, Matt developed non-Hodgkin’s NK T-cell lymphoma (cancer). In an attempt to cure his EBV–associated cancer, he underwent numerous rounds of chemotherapy and ultimately a Bone Marrow Transplant at The City of Hope in Duarte, CA, in late 2008. Sadly, in mid-2009, the disease returned and Matt became seriously ill with NK-T-cell brain lymphoma, which necessitated several rounds of brain radiation. While fighting a very severe episode of EBV-HLH, and just after completing a dozen sessions of brain radiation therapy that significantly weakened his immune system, Matt succumbed to his extremely rare EBV-associated diseases and passed away on October 3, 2009.
Areas of Foundation Medical Research Interest. Because of the rareness of Matt’s disease(s), there is limited medical research being accomplished to find a cure for EBV–HLH and EBV-associated lymphoma such as the NK T-cell lymphoma from which Matt suffered. The areas of current medical research discussed briefly below are those the Foundation is currently interested in raising charitable funds for in support of new and innovative medical research leading to cures for EBV and EBV-associated diseases.
The Foundation is interested in funding innovative research supporting the development of a vaccine for EBV.
Real-Time EBV Titer
The Foundation is interested in funding research and development of new cost-effective tools and techniques for the real-time determination of patient EBV viral levels in support of the improved diagnosis and management of EBV-HLH and EBV-associated lymphomas.
The Foundation is interested in supporting current and future T-cell immunotherapy research, which may lead to a cure of EBV and EBV-associated diseases.
New and Emerging Innovative Medical Research
The Foundation is interested in supporting new and emerging innovative medical research leading to cures for EBV and EBV-associated diseases.
The Foundation. The family and friends of Matt Cwiertny established the MCMF in 2010 after Matt passed away at the age of 24 on October 3, 2009, after a two-year fight with EBV-HLH and NK T-cell lymphoma.
To learn more about the Matt Cwiertny Memorial Foundation and what we want to accomplish, please visit: http://www.mattcwiertnymemorialfoundation.com
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