Online auction spurs free biopsy for boy's tumor

/ Source: The Associated Press

A 9-year-old boy whose mother launched an online auction to help pay for a biopsy on her son’s tumor will have the procedure done for free, his mother said Monday.

Dr. Hrayr Shahinian of the Skull Base Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center agreed to perform the biopsy free of charge on the tumor young David Dingman-Grover named “Frank,” said Frank Groff, spokesman for the Los Angeles institute.

David’s parents had been auctioning off a bumper sticker reading “Frank Must Die” on eBay to raise money for the procedure.

“We have been so blessed,” said David’s mother, Tiffini Dingman-Grover, of Sterling.

David named the tumor at the base of his skull after Frankenstein, who used to scare him until he dressed up as the monster for Halloween.

The little boy was diagnosed in May 2003 with a grapefruit-sized malignant tumor called a rhabdomyosarcoma. The size and location of the tumor — most are in the limbs — made it impossible for doctors to take out, Dingman-Grover said.

Chemotherapy shrank it to the size of a peach pit, but David needs a specialized biopsy to determine whether the tumor is still cancerous, his mother and doctor said.

David’s biopsy is scheduled for Feb. 2. The family still has to help pay for the anesthesiologist and other hospital fees, but the $40,000 in private donations they’ve received since the case caught the public’s attention earlier this month will be sufficient, Dingman-Grover said.