News

Barnes & Noble College + YOU = $25,000 for Kids’ Cancer Research

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 22, 2014 0 comments

Did you know that by just taking a selfie you can support kids with cancer AND help raise up to $25,000 for childhood cancer research? Read on to learn how and start practicing your pose!

#YouAreMyHero sample messages
From now until October 5, share a supportive message to kids with cancer by taking a picture of yourself holding a sign with the hashtag #YouAreMyHero.

For every photo posted to Instagram or Barnes & Noble College’s Facebook page, Barnes & Noble College will donate $1 to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund childhood cancer research!

Barnes & Noble College has promised up to $25,000, which means we need 25,000 supportive selfies to make the biggest impact for kids with cancer.

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Families

It’s Just Hair: Shaving Again for Kids Like Hannah

by Gaylene Meeson
September 19, 2014 0 comments

Shave your head for kids with cancer. Be a shavee℠.

Gaylene Meeson and daughter Hannah at the first Heroes for Hannah St. Baldrick's event

Gaylene with her daughter, Hannah, at their first St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event.

In July 2013, I called my husband, Nigel, and said, “We have to shave and raise money for research.”

What started out as two shavees with a few friends, a hairdresser, and a donation table turned out to be one of the biggest philanthropic events our home of Grand Cayman has ever hosted, with the most money raised for charity in a single night.

We did it for kids with cancer. Kids like our Hannah.

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Families

What Happened When My Daughter’s Pediatric Oncologist Moved Across the Country

by Rebekah Ham
September 18, 2014 0 comments

Ambassador Grace’s oncologist was so important to their family that when they learned he was moving 1,800 miles away, they thought about moving with him. Grace’s mom, Rebekah, explains what this change means for them.

Grace and her pediatric oncologist, Dr. Doug Harrison.

Grace loves her oncologist.

She has declared repeatedly that her relationship with Dr. Doug Harrison is one of the few benefits of having been diagnosed with childhood cancer. He is kind and funny and supportive, and he talks directly to her. For my husband, Russell, and me, he is responsive and knowledgeable and willing to work as part of a team to offer her the very best care.

We met him on her first night in the hospital in September 2007. Our trip that morning to the neurologist to discuss Grace’s headaches had fast-tracked us to the ER for a CAT scan, a brain tumor diagnosis, and then upstairs to the ICU for steroids. Doug arrived with social worker Stephanie to introduce himself. I was eager for anyone to tell me what was going on and how to explain it to Grace.

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Head-Shaving Fundraisers

The Boy Who Got Cancer to Cure Cancer: Aiden’s Story

by Lisa Binkley
September 16, 2014 0 comments

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Do something to help kids with cancer.

Aiden black and white photo
Aiden was the type of kid who lit up a room — friendly, smart, athletic, and caring.

As a baby, we marveled at how quickly he spoke. As he grew, he was kind to his friends and often stuck up for a peer who was being picked on. He played every sport, and although never the star player, he enjoyed team camaraderie (sometimes even with the other team as he made small talk with the kid on first base instead of watching the play).

In July 2008, Aiden was diagnosed with stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma. This insidious cancer of the soft tissue was inoperable and located in Aiden’s pelvis. It had already spread to his lungs at the time of diagnosis.

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Advocacy

Being An Advocate for Kids With Cancer: What Does It Mean?

by Danielle Leach, Director of Government Relations and Advocacy, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 15, 2014 0 comments

Join St. Baldrick’s advocacy network, Speak Up for Kids’ Cancer.

Mason Leach

How will you be an advocate for kids with cancer? Danielle draws her inspiration from her son Mason, who died from a pediatric brain tumor at age 5.

Webster’s dictionary defines advocacy as “the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal.”

For all of us supporting children with cancer and their families, advocacy is personal. Perhaps you became a champion for childhood cancer because it impacted your child or someone in your family. Maybe you became involved because a friend convinced you to shave your head for a great cause.

Whatever the reason, you are, by definition, an advocate.

An advocate is not just someone who writes to Congress, calls their Congressional office, or meets with legislators. An advocate is also someone who organizes an event, or tells their story at a school, or gets their friends involved in raising funds for research. An advocate is a person who tells people why they shaved their head and helps teach the broader community about childhood cancer.

All types of advocates are important to make a difference in the fight against childhood cancer.

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Kids with Cancer

Childhood Cancer Life: My Day With Aubrey [PHOTO ESSAY]

by Alison Sutton, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 12, 2014 0 comments

Our social media coordinator, Alison Sutton, spent a day with St. Baldrick’s Honored Kid Aubrey C. You might remember Aubrey as the young artist who raised over $20,000 for childhood cancer research. She’s also in treatment for childhood cancer. Here’s a glimpse into a day in the life of Aubrey, as seen through Alison’s eyes.

Alison Sutton and Aubrey Castro
“I want people to know that I’m beautiful and help people when they are down and I do nice things.”

That’s what 4-year-old Aubrey wants you to know about her.

One thing she didn’t mention? She’s currently in maintenance treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a childhood cancer she’s been fighting since she was 2 ½.

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Head-Shaving Fundraisers

7 Shavees Share Their Shaving Stories [PHOTO ESSAY]

by Emily Kilpatrick, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 10, 2014 0 comments

Shave your head for kids with cancer. Be a shavee℠.

Shaun-and-Gunnar-St-Baldricks-shavees

Photos courtesy of Matt Janson Photography. See more of his work at mattjanson.com.

Here at St. Baldrick’s, we have the privilege of seeing a lot of beautiful bald heads. Whether it’s a #baldselfie on Facebook or a collection of inspiring event photos, we know that each naked noggin represents something wonderful: more funds raised for lifesaving childhood cancer research.

At the same time, a head shaved for St. Baldrick’s is a bold symbol that our shavees stand behind kids with cancer, who so often lose their hair during cancer treatment. Shavees let these kids know that they are not alone, that they have a friend in the fight against childhood cancers.

Photographer Matt Janson captured the shavee spirit when he set up a portrait studio at the Grand Junction, Colorado, head-shaving event in June. His second year at the event, Matt said it was the shavees themselves that drew him to St. Baldrick’s for another year.

“I’ve never been a part of any group that’s been able to take something so painful and turn it into a day of love, support, and remembrance,” Matt said. “I can’t even begin to describe how infectiously positive everyone is at the event.”

Here’s a look at a few of Matt’s portraits along with a few words from the shavees about what it means to be a shavee and why they believe childhood cancer research is a cause worth losing hair over.

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Why I Give

Couple’s Gift Leaves Legacy of Hope for Children With Cancer

by Avis Matsuda, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 9, 2014 0 comments

You can give hope to children with cancer. Get involved.

Dr. Todd Alonzo was an esteemed statistician with the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) in 2003 when the first California St. Baldrick’s events were held. He was well respected by his colleagues in the childhood cancer research arena for his expertise and knowledge.

But what would inspire this distinguished researcher to shave half his head in Southern California, fly half-shorn to Sacramento, and shave the other half there?

Todd Alonzo and Jason Alonzo with green mohawks
A brother who dyed his hair green! And a challenge to see who could raise more money for an incredible cause.

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Families

Cancer Free, But Never Free From Cancer

by Katie Vescelus
September 8, 2014 0 comments

2013 Ambassador Matthias was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a type of childhood cancer, when he was just 3 months old. The treatment left him permanently blind, but five years later, he’s cancer free and starting kindergarten. His mom, Katie, shares this update.

Matthias and Magnus starting school

Matthias (left) and his older brother, Magnus, on the first day of school this year.

On July 13, 2009, I held our son, Matthias, as he recovered from surgery to remove his right eye. His left eye had been removed two weeks before.

This surgery allowed him to be cancer free for the first time in his life, but it left him permanently and irreversibly blind.

I lifted him from the recovery room bed as he slept, and the nurses helped me navigate the tangled web of tubes so we could settle into a rocking chair. I rocked and sang softly to him as he awoke for the first time to a new world, one in which he was healthy but completely blind.

On August 4, 2014, just five short years later, I hugged Matthias and held his hand as he boarded the bus for kindergarten. I kissed him goodbye and again guided him into a new world. It was almost as terrifying as the day he lost his vision.

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Head-Shaving Fundraisers

‘Fabulous, Bald, and 50′: A 46 Momma Rings In Her Birthday With a New Look

by Alyson Weissman
September 5, 2014 0 comments

Change your look and change the world for kids with cancer. Be a shavee℠.

Alyson
I am on the cusp of 50. Today I’m 49 and tomorrow, the big 5-0!

I have to imagine that my friends and family have been wondering why I would choose to shave my head right before what many consider a milestone birthday, especially in the life of a woman — a time when it feels like we are clinging to that last bit of our youth, a time when many women begin to imagine that their beauty has begun to fade and the world has stopped taking notice of them.

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