The Jeffrey Modell Foundation Spring Ahead Gala

The Jeffrey Modell Foundation Spring Ahead Gala.
First Baby Saved by SCID Newborn Screening Honored at Jeffrey Modell Foundation Spring Ahead Gala

Vicki and Fred Model l with

Vicki and Fred Model l with "Ultimate Dream" Honoree, Dawson Bornheimer. Photo by:  Fred Marcus Photography

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NYC - The Jeffrey Modell Foundation (JMF) honored 10-month-old Dawson Bornheimer, the first baby in the world to be diagnosed, transplanted and cured of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) as a result of mandatory newborn screening. The event was held at Cipriani 42nd Street, NYC.  SCID, which is commonly known as “Bubble Boy” disease, is fatal if not treated in the early months of life.

Expert physicians from all over the world joined  JMF supporters to celebrate Dawson Bornheimer as he received the “Ultimate Dream” award.  SCID is one of the 160 Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases that affect an estimated 3-6 million Americans.  A newborn baby with SCID will not survive to his or her first birthday; however, a bone marrow transplant can cure the disease.

Bone Marrow Transplants now have 95% success rate if screened early.  If the condition is discovered 6-8 months into life, the success rate drops dramatically, the costs are prohibitive and the baby may not survive, which is why newborn screening is so vital.  You have to know if your baby has SCID, and the only way to know is to screen!  The Jeffrey Modell Foundation funded the first population screening for newborns in the state of Wisconsin, where all newborns are being screened currently.

Founders Vicki and Fred Modell established the JMF in 1987 in memory of their son, Jeffrey, who died at the age of 15 from complications of Primary Immunodeficiency, a genetic defect that can be fatal and that affects an estimated 3-6 million Americans.  Today, the JMF is a multifaceted global nonprofit organization devoted to the early and precise diagnosis, meaningful treatments, and ultimately cures of PI, and is focused on physician education, public awareness, and clinical and basic research to better understand and treat PI.  There are 52 Jeffrey Modell Research and Diagnostic Centers worldwide.