Ambassadors


Every year, the Foundation selects five Ambassadors to represent the thousands of kids touched by childhood cancer from many different geographic areas, age groups, disease types and more. These brave kids serve as a reminder that childhood cancer doesn't discriminate and that one in five kids diagnosed in the U.S. will not survive.

Phineas S. Age 7

Location

North Carolina

Diagnosis

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Status

Cancer free

Phineas has a long list of things he loves. The 7-year-old loves playing with Legos, riding his mountain bike, eating pizza and junk food (when his mom isn’t looking), and all things monster truck. But what’s also on Phineas’ list of things he loves?

St. Baldrick’s.

That’s because at age 4, Phineas was diagnosed with chemo-resistant acute lymphoblastic leukemia, six years after his sister Althea died from acute myeloid leukemia.

An immunotherapy trial supported by St. Baldrick’s and headed by St. Baldrick’s Scholar Dr. Daniel Lee saved Phineas’ life. Twenty-eight days after the procedure Phineas was finally in remission. Thanks to research funded by St. Baldrick’s, the bright-eyed boy is a cancer free kid.

Now, two years after the end of his treatment, Phineas just goes to the hospital for annual check-ups. He relishes eating out at restaurants (not just pizza joints) and loves laughing about all things potty-related with his friends.

Whenever they can, his family goes on adventures together with their vintage Airstream trailer. In the spring they visited the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, and, of course, the Monster Truck World Finals in Las Vegas.

Like many kids, Phineas wants to be a lot of things when he grows up — maybe a monster truck driver, or an artist or an architect. Right now, after everything he’s been through — chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and a bone marrow transplant — he’s just enjoying first grade.

Phineas’ story continues on our blog... Learn More

Alyssa Z. Age 13

Location

Washington

Diagnosis

Ewing sarcoma

Status

No evidence of disease (NED)

One morning in the summer of 2013, Alyssa awoke to discover she couldn’t walk. The pain was intense and persistent. What her family thought was growing pains continued beyond that morning and into the next and the next.

Many visits to the doctor and many misdiagnoses later, the young girl and her family got terrible news. The pain was being caused by a tumor in her femur, specifically Ewing sarcoma.

“Her first response was, ‘Are you sure?’ As they had been wrong twice before,” her parents Michella and Harold said. “She cried but just said, ‘OK, what now?’”

That’s been her attitude ever since — always looking toward the next step.

She had 115 rounds of chemotherapy, nine blood transfusions and five surgeries that replaced most of her femur with titanium. Alyssa dubbed December 16 — which was the day of her biggest surgery — her leg’s birthday.

Now the resilient girl with a love for all things pink and sparkly shows no evidence of disease.

Alyssa and her family attended a St. Baldrick’s shave at Seattle Children’s, where her doctor shaved his head. She thought that was neat, but the 12-year-old was most impressed by a fellow cancer survivor who braved the shave.

As her parents said, “He was so amazing and Alyssa couldn’t believe after working so hard to get his hair back that he would willingly let it go.”

Alyssa is ready to move forward — the seventh-grader is up and about on her "bionic" leg, getting stronger by the day.

Alyssa’s story continues on our blog... Learn More

Cheyenne D. Age 11

Location

Colorado

Diagnosis

Lymphoma

Status

In treatment

On January 30, 2015, Cheyenne couldn’t breathe.

Hours and one helicopter ride to the hospital later, her parents received the worst news. Her airway was being blocked by a tumor, specifically T-lymphoblastic lymphoma.

She turned 10 years old a week after her diagnosis and instead of presents, all she wanted was a haircut before she lost her hair to treatment.

Cheyenne is now powering through two years of intense chemotherapy, with all the side effects and drug cocktails that come with it.

The active girl loves being outside and playing in the mountains with her family, whether that means going 4-wheeling, camping or swimming. Unfortunately, since her diagnosis, she and her family haven’t been able to enjoy those activities together.

But no matter how hard that gets, Cheyenne never loses the contagious smile that lights up her whole face and the faces of everyone around her.

Resilient and determined, her motto is simple: Fight like a girl.

And she is.

“She’s had nothing but a fighting positive spirit since the beginning. She has her hard moments but she is resilient and approaches everything with a smile,” her parents, Levi and Amy, said.

Cheyenne has some big plans for when she gets better and grows up.

She says, “I want to be a pediatric oncologist and help kids out who have gone through what I’ve gone through.”

Cheyenne’s story continues on our blog... Learn More

Isaac P. Age 10

Location

Illinois

Diagnosis

Medulloblastoma

Status

No evidence of disease (NED)

During treatment for a type of brain cancer called medulloblastoma, Isaac was known as the kid with the smile. The little boy endured countless pokes, nine rounds of chemotherapy, 30 rounds of radiation and an extensive brain surgery. He had to learn to walk again and lost his hair four times. A determined kid, he always insisted on going back to his first grade class after each session of brain and spinal radiation.

Isaac’s smile persisted through it all.

“It was that smile that got me through his treatment and gave me my strength as his mother,” said his mom, April.

One thing that kept Isaac smiling through treatment was Legos. In fact, he loved them before treatment — before he could even walk or talk, his mom said. In an effort to occupy him during treatment, he’d get a fresh set to complete before each hospital stay and now his room is bursting with the Legos creations he constructed during those times.

Now showing no evidence of disease, the fifth-grader is still building Legos, still smiling, dancing, and playing with his siblings and bulldog, despite persistent long-term effects from treatment.

Isaac and his family know that every day other kids are where Isaac used to be. So in an effort to give back, Isaac and his family organize their very own St. Baldrick’s events. He is a three-time shavee and team captain for the aptly named “Team Isaac”.

“It’s our family’s way to make a difference,” April said. “So hopefully one day no other kids will have to go through what Isaac did.”

Isaac’s story continues on our blog... Learn More

Holden G Forever 6

Location

Ohio

Diagnosis

Wilms or other kidney tumor

Holden loved every minute of life. He was relentless in his pursuit of being a “normal” kid, even during intense treatment for Wilms tumor — riding the bus, going to first grade, playing baseball, being a friend.

He loved playing Monkey in the Middle with his brother Hayden and had a fondness for Costco pizza. He relished being the banker during Monopoly, and insisted on occupying that role during every game. He liked counting and stashing money. Holden had a big jar in his room where he kept his savings. At any given time, he knew exactly how much he had in the jar — down to the penny.

When his family held a St. Baldrick’s event on his fifth birthday, Holden was all smiles as his parents and brother shaved their heads.

“Holden chortled because in an odd turn of events he was the only one in the family who had hair,” his mom, Miriam, said.

He handled cancer and treatments with amazing grace, rolling with the punches, full of laughter, joy, and love. As his mom said, Holden did not let cancer or hemodialysis get in the way of him enjoying being a kid.

Holden passed away on May 22, 2014, nine days before his seventh birthday. The St. Baldrick’s Invictus Hero Fund is in memory of Holden’s unconquerable spirit.

Holden’s story continues on our blog... Learn More

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