Audrey Price may owe her life to a man she never met – entrepreneur, philanthropist, and one-time UCSF Foundation Board member Kenneth Rainin, who passed away in 2007.
After doctors found an aneurysm the size of a golf ball pressing against the teen’s brain stem, she was referred for treatment to the Pediatric Brain Center (PBC) at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco. The center, one of the few specialized pediatric brain centers in the US, was co-founded by Heather Fullerton, MD, MAS, the Kenneth Rainin Chair in Pediatric Stroke Care and one of the world's leading experts on pediatric stroke, and Nalin Gupta, MD, PhD, Benioff UCSF Professor in Children's Health (Chancellor's Office) and Dennis Bruce Dettmer Endowed Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery, is an expert in brain tumor progression and neurological disorders in children.
It is hard for me to imagine how I could have built this program without the Rainin professorship.
The endowed professorship Fullerton holds, which was created through Rainin’s estate, provided the opportunity to establish the PBC. “It is hard for me to imagine how I could have built this program without the Rainin professorship,” says Fullerton.
Price had a rare and complex condition that could only be treated through a coordinated plan involving an interdisciplinary team of experts. And that’s what she found at the PBC, which integrates neurology, neurosurgery, physical and occupational therapy, speech, social work, and neuropsychology to provide seamless holistic care for patients’ full range of brain-related needs.
Price’s team was able to remove the brain aneurism safely. But when she came out of surgery, she could hardly move the right side of her body. Her doctors quickly called in another team member, Jonathan Bixby, MD, who specializes in physical rehabilitation.
Price’s rehabilitation involved a grueling schedule of physical therapy – six hours a day, six days a week during a six-week hospital stay, and continuing after she returned home. Her hard work paid off, and soon after leaving the hospital, Price was able to begin high school.
“Mr. Rainin’s generosity,” Fullerton says, “has led to major advancements in the field of pediatric stroke.”
For Price, the advancements are personal and hard-won. "Once my body heals,” she said in an interview with the Lamorinda Weekly, “I’ll play sports.”
UCSF’s total endowment as of June 30, 2016
Endowed chairs and professorships
Endowed student support funds