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9-Year-Old With Brain Cancer to Undergo Revolutionary Surgery
(Surgeon To Donate Services For Boy Who Gained Int'l Attention With Online Fundraising Campaign)


A 9-year-old boy with brain cancer, who gained international attention when his mother launched an online auction to pay for his biopsy, will undergo the surgery at no cost thanks to the generosity of internationally renowned surgeon Hrayr Shahinian, M.D. of the Skull Base Institute. Shahinian, who is one of a few surgeons in the world to specialize in a minimally invasive approach to skull base surgery known as endoscopy, will perform the procedure on David Dingman-Grover. Dingman-Grover was diagnosed in May 2003 with a grapefruit-sized malignant skull base tumor and chemotherapy shrank it to the size of a walnut. Following surgery, tissue samples will be rushed to pathologists who are expected to determine within one week whether or not the tumor is actively cancerous.


Wednesday, February 2
Surgery - 8:30 a.m. -- 12:30 a.m. (approx. times)
Press Conference (offering details of the surgery) -- 1 p.m.


Beverly Hilton Hotel - Brighton Room (ground floor, south of Palm Court)
9876 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210


Tiffani Dingman-Grover, David's mother, turned to Shahinian when she learned that he offered an alternative to the traditional form of surgery known as a craniotomy. This relatively "barbaric" procedure involves making an incision from ear to ear, pulling back the skin to expose the skull, sawing off the top portion to reach the brain and attempting to correct the abnormality in question. David's case posed a particularly daunting challenge due to the tumor's location at the base of the skull in close proximity to his carotid artery, which supplies blood to the brain. In David's case, Shahinian will insert the endoscope through the nasal passage to reach the tumor. The procedure is simpler and safer to perform and David will experience a shorter hospital stay, reduced recovery time, decreased overall risk and a superior result with fewer complications. To date, Shahinian has treated more than 2,000 patients using advanced endoscopy. The result is leading to a paradigm shift in this field of medicine despite some opposition from traditionalists who are holding on to long-established practices and are resistant to change.