Livi Jones, 20-year multiple meningioma survivor and huge dog adoption advocate

Meningioma Mommas is continuing its longtime collaboration with Harvard researcher, Dr. Hiro Wakimoto by awarding him a $7,500 grant for the next phase of his Photo-Dynamic Oncolytic Virus Therapy research, which has revealed promising results in the treatment of meningioma brain tumors.

“This work showed for the first time that our genetically engineered virus therapy can be boosted by light illumination to the tumors, and supports further research to translate the findings to the clinic,” said Dr. Wakimoto.

This grant is dedicated to Livi Jones, a 20-year multiple meningioma survivor. Livi underwent her first surgery just weeks before starting kindergarten. Since then, she has had countless surgeries for multiple meningiomas and acoustic neuromas while also living with epilepsy and NF2. We are proud to call Livi our “Fearless Fighter” as she is the face of meningioma displaying her courage and resilience every day. She loves spoiling her niece and nephews as much as the numerous dogs she has adopted.

“Livi is the strongest and most stubborn person I know,” says her mother, Jenny Jones. “There is something inside of her that is greater than any obstacle.”

Dr. Wakimoto shares our passion and mission to better understand, treat, and eventually eradicate meningiomas.

“As a former neurosurgeon providing daily care of brain tumor patients, I have witnessed and am well aware of how devastating the life of meningioma patients can be. Although a meningioma is mostly considered a ‘benign tumor’ and can be cured by surgery alone, there are so many patients who suffer from morbidities, undergoing repeated surgeries, and even mortalities because of the relentless nature of the disease,” he said.

“Seventeen years ago, the realization of the crucial importance of research to fundamentally understand neuro-oncology and bring hope to patients and their families pushed me to make a career-changing decision to quit seeing patients and focus on laboratory research. I have been a full-time researcher ever since and am proud of the scientific accomplishments that have advanced the field, but at the same time understand that outcomes of research are not meaningful until those contribute to changing life of the patients. My goal as a neuro-oncology researcher is to understand the process of brain tumors such as meningiomas through patient-derived tumor models and develop novel strategies that have translational promise.”

Additional information:

Photodynamic augmentation of oncolytic virus therapy for central nervous system malignancies, Cancer Letters

Shimizu et al PD-OV 2023