On June 9, 2021, Maddie’s Promise donated $40,000 to fund cutting-edge rhabdomyosarcoma research in the lab of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Professor Chris Vakoc. Ann McCoy, Maddie’s mother, and Theresa Buonopane, Maddie’s aunt, presented the check to Vakoc and his team on behalf of the organization.
Maddie’s Promise is a non-profit dedicated to funding research into targeted treatments of pediatric cancers, including rhabdomyosarcoma. The organization is named after Maddie McCoy, who died of rhabdomyosarcoma, and is dedicated to continuing Maddie’s promise to help others and fund research into rare pediatric cancers.
Vakoc studies rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and often fatal form of pediatric cancer derived from connective tissues like muscle and fat. His work, part of the Sarcoma Research Project, aims to understand what causes sarcomas. He uses CRISPR/Cas9 genetic screens, epigenomics, and biochemistry to study how sarcomas form and to identify new therapeutic targets.