Where The Money Goes

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
CSHL in collaboration with the Vakoc Lab is at the cutting edge in research of rhabdomyosarcoma. They are one of the few labs in the world specifically developing new treatments for childhood sarcoma.  This laboratory studies how transcription factors, chromatin proteins, and signaling molecules cooperate to maintain the cancer cell state. They make extensive use of CRISPR-Cas9 genetic screens, epigenomics, and biochemistry to study gene regulatory mechanisms. Their goal is to develop a new generation of therapies that reprogram transcription to eliminate cancer cells. The Lab is run by Dr. Chris Vakoc.​

For more information about Dr. Vakoc and his team, click here.

Children's Cancer Therapy Development Institute
CC-TDI is a non-profit biotech lab on a mission to make childhood cancer universally survivable.  Every year, the FDA approves an average of twelve drugs to treat adult cancer, but has only approved eight drugs to treat childhood cancer since 1978.  CC-TDI is embarking upon a bold scientific course of discovery to send more targeted drugs into clinical trial for those childhood cancers that have the most dire outcomes.  The lab is run by Dr. Charles Keller. 

Dr. Charles Keller, a physician and professor at Oregon Health and Science University  who is one of the world's leaders in RMS research founded the CC-TDI to focus on childhood cancers, which hasn't gotten as much attention as adult cancers. It's the only laboratory to have developed genetically-engineered mouse models of PAX3:FOXO1+ alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.

They have utilized this model to its fullest potential to understand:


  • cell-of-origin and treatment strategies for tumors of certain origins (this led to pediatric phase I clinical trial ADVL1513)

  • that PAX3:FOXO1 is expressed in a dynamic, cell-cycle specific manner

  • that checkpoint adaptation causes chemotherapy resistance

They have also developed an extensive new set of cell cultures and patient-derived xenograft mouse models (2012 & later) to replace ones used since 1968, 1983 and 1987. 

For more information about Dr. Charles Keller and his team, click here

Family Assistance

​We were extremely fortunate to receive support from our family, friends, and community throughout Daniela's fight against Rhabdomyosarcoma. Having a solid support system within the healthcare community is equally important. We strongly encourage families to speak with the social worker at their child’s hospital or treatment facility, as they may be able to connect you with foundations or organizations to provide assistance to your family.


Our need for financial assistance was one of our family’s heaviest burdens during the three and a half years Daniela fought ERMS. For this reason, the Daniela Conte Foundation was created to provide financial support to families with children fighting cancer. We want you to know that we are praying for you, but most importantly, we want to provide you with financial assistance.


The Daniela Conte Foundation would like to ease the financial stress that accompanies a cancer diagnosis. We understand that there are numerous additional expenses incurred by families almost immediately upon receiving such a devastating diagnosis. Let us help you endure this challenge.


We will help pay for medical and travel expenses, treatments, bills, or any other living expenses. Our goal is to bring a smile and some relief to your family while under such difficult circumstances.

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County

While Daniela was undergoing treatments, she was granted a wish.  It was a profound experience that created memories that we will forever hold dear to our hearts.  Funds raised by the Daniela Conte Foundation will also support the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Suffolk County.