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Edie Gilger and her mom, Emily Edie Gilger and her mom, Emily
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A Cancer Research Breakthrough Is Treating a Mom and Her Daughter

October 24, 2016 | Rose Bowl 2017

When 7-year-old Edie Gilger was just six months old, she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer that commonly appears in and around the adrenal glands. Life for the Gilgers changed forever when Edie received that diagnosis. Edie endured several rounds of standard treatment, but the cancer kept coming back. 

Their lives changed again when they met Dr. Yael Mossé from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Through research supported by Northwestern Mutual, Dr. Mossé had recently developed a breakthrough neuroblastoma treatment, and Edie was able to enroll in a clinical trial. That treatment saved Edie’s life—but the story didn’t end there.

Edie’s cancer was hereditary, so doctors knew that one of her parents was the carrier; it was determined to be her mom, Emily. It was only a matter of time before Emily’s cancer would surface, which it did while she was pregnant with her second child, Kinsey. Fortunately, Dr. Mossé was able to save Emily’s life with the same treatment that had saved Edie. 

Edie, Emily and Dr. Mossé’s story is the inspiration behind Northwestern Mutual’s float in the 2017 Rose Parade®. Fitting with the parade theme of Echoes of Success, the float will celebrate the joy of being a kid and will demonstrate how success cannot be achieved alone—as shown by the connection between Dr. Mosse, Edie and Emily.

Riding on the float will be Dr. Yael Mossé; the Gilger family; and Steve Guinan, a Northwestern Mutual business leader in Pennsylvania who, with his team, has supported the fight against childhood cancer research by volunteering and funding the ongoing work of Dr. Mossé.

Learn more about the Gilgers, Dr. Mossé and their incredible story. 

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