Families

Childhood Cancer, I Will Fight to End You: A Poem for Finn

by Megan Dermody
July 22, 2014 0 comments

Megan is shaving her head in honor of her son, Finn, at the fifth annual 46 Mommas Shave for the Brave this weekend. Join Megan — be a shavee!

Finn

Finn was diagnosed with brain cancer when he was 5.

Cancer, you shattered our normalcy, but not our ability to create a new normal.

You stole precious time away from Finn’s childhood, when he was just starting kindergarten, but he is here to gain it back.

You took half of my sweet Finn’s smile, but not his kind spirit. His smile is so big it shines through.

You kept me from hearing his voice for two months, but he fought to speak again.

You took his ability to walk for over a year, but Finn fought to run as a child should.

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Advocacy

Childhood Cancer Advocates Make a Difference in Washington

by Peter Mayberry, Sr. Manager of Legislative Affairs, St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 18, 2014 0 comments

You can be a voice for children with cancer. Join St. Baldrick’s advocacy network, Speak Up for Kids’ Cancer.

St-Baldricks-Washington-DC

St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund Manager, Kelly Forebaugh, and board member Amy Bucher at Childhood Cancer Action Days 2014

Now that the Alliance for Childhood Cancer’s 2014 Action Days and One Voice Against Cancer’s (OVAC) 2014 Lobby Day are both wrapped, results from of the two efforts are starting to come in.

In June, Childhood Cancer Action Days brought together advocates from across the United States to meet with members of Congress in Washington, D.C. This year, 259 people participated in the event. Of these, about 65 were from the St. Baldrick’s community, who took part in 185 scheduled meetings.

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Families

‘Together We Are Better’: St. Baldrick’s and McKenna Claire Foundation Fund Pediatric Brain Tumor Research

by Kristine Wetzel
July 18, 2014 0 comments

The McKenna Claire Foundation is supporting a St. Baldrick’s research grant to help kids with brain tumors. Kristine, whose daughter McKenna died of a brain tumor, explains why. See all the 2014 Summer Grants.

McKenna and her mom, Kristine Wetzel

Kristine with her daughter McKenna. McKenna was diagnosed with a brain tumor in January 2011 and died six months later.

In January 2011, our daughter McKenna was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive form of brain cancer called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG.

Upon diagnosis, we were told that there was no hope for her survival and that the average life expectancy was 9-18 months. Because it is so rare, there had been little research done on this disease in the past 50 years, with virtually no change in treatment protocols or life expectancy.

For that reason, when we lost McKenna just six short months after diagnosis, we decided to do two things.

The first was to donate her tumor to Monje Lab at Stanford University, where a cell line was developed for use by researchers around the world. The second was to start a foundation in her name with the specific purpose of supporting progress in the field of pediatric brain cancer research.

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Families

Ty Louis Campbell Foundation Gives New Hope to Children With Brain Tumors

by Cindy Campbell
July 17, 2014 0 comments

The Ty Louis Campbell (TLC) Foundation is joining St. Baldrick’s to fund pediatric brain tumor immunotherapy research. Cindy, co-founder of the TLC Foundation, shares why this partnership is giving them renewed hope. See all the 2014 Summer Grants.

Ty with his parents, Lou and Cindy Campbell

Cindy and Lou Campbell founded the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation after their 5-year-old son, Ty, died of a brain tumor.

Nothing is more powerful than hope.

Hope fueled my passion and gave me the strength to care for my son during his childhood cancer treatment without coming undone at the seams. Without hope, I would have grieved his loss for over a year before he actually took his last breath.

And, without the hope for a cure that I continue to strive for 21 months after his loss, I don’t know that I would find the will to get out of bed at the dawn of every new day I face without him.

Like every parent who hears the words, “Your child has cancer,” I hit the Internet the second I learned of his diagnosis, a rare pediatric brain tumor called atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT). I had such tremendous hope that my Ty would be one of the 20 percent that survives the devastating diagnosis over five years, and that he would be one of the 10 percent that doesn’t relapse. We nicknamed him SuperTy with certainty that his super strength would prevail.

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News

2014 Summer Grants: A Record-Breaking Year

by Becky C. Weaver, Chief Philanthropy Officer, St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 16, 2014 0 comments

It’s the biggest grants release of the year: the St. Baldrick’s Foundation Summer Grants. This year, the announcement is bigger than ever! Don’t miss the video where we surprise some of our researchers with the exciting news. To see the research St. Baldrick’s is funding near you, visit our Grants Search.

2014-Summer-Grants

You have made 2014 a record-breaking year.

In addition to helping St. Baldrick’s break a world record for head-shaving, this year our incredible St. Baldrick’s volunteers have raised more money for childhood cancer research than ever before — an amazing feat!

All of that hard work is paying off today, as we announce our annual Summer Grants. This is our biggest grant release of the year, and 2014 is a milestone for us all, as we give over $24.7 million in children’s cancer research grants —  more than any year prior.

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Research

These Pediatric Oncologists Weren’t Expecting This Great News [VIDEO]

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 16, 2014 0 comments

We surprised a few recipients of our 2014 Summer Grants with some exciting news — and we caught it all on video.

This is one of the most anticipated times of the year at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation: the time when we are able to turn generously given donations over to the hands of the world’s best childhood cancer researchers.

This year, we added a little twist.

We told these researchers we had one final video interview for them before we would announce our funding decisions.

Watch the video and you’ll see — we tricked them. But it was worth it.

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News

St. Baldrick’s Funds Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Research to Help Kids in China

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 16, 2014 0 comments

Hui Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., a St. Baldrick’s International Scholar, is the first researcher in mainland China to receive funding from St. Baldrick’s. See all the 2014 Summer Grants.

Hui Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Zhang is a St. Baldrick’s International Scholar working to improve survival of children with ALL in China.

In the United States and in most developed countries, we are fortunate to have access to the best available treatments for our children with cancer. Most kids with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common cancer in children, can be cured with chemotherapy alone, and the current survival rate is about 90 percent.

But in China, the most populous country in the world, that’s not the case.

In fact, not even 10 years ago, less than 10 percent of kids with ALL in China had access to protocol-based chemotherapy — treatment guided by years of research into understanding which drugs work better for which patient populations.

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Survivors

From Relapse to Graduation: What a Difference Four Years Can Make

by Sarah Swaim
July 14, 2014 0 comments

When 2012 Ambassador Sarah’s leukemia relapsed in 2010, she had to put her life on hold. She left college, underwent a stem cell transplant, and participated in a St. Baldrick’s-funded clinical trial that ultimately saved her life. Now in remission, she graduated college and is looking forward to starting her new job. Help find a cure for all kids with cancer — get involved.

Sarah Swaim on graduation day
I picked up my cap and gown two months before graduation and promptly tossed it in my closet. Even then I remember being so consumed with what was going on with school that I could not even imagine or anticipate graduation.

It wasn’t until the week before, when I dug it out of my closet to iron it, that I realized the finish line I was about to cross. For that week, I got to see my cap and gown every day and reflect on everything that has happened, everything I’ve overcome, and everything that lay ahead.

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Survivors

Daniel’s Journey from Childhood Cancer to Medical School

by Daniel Bral
July 11, 2014 0 comments

Daniel was diagnosed with childhood cancer when he was 11. Now 25, he’s in medical school and he shaved his head for St. Baldrick’s in March to help fund children’s cancer research. You can, too!

Daniel Bral
As a young boy, I loved to play basketball.

I loved the ball-handling that the coaches taught us. I loved the teamwork that went into winning games. I loved the feeling of making a shot into the basket. I loved the fact that I could outrun and out-maneuver the other payers because I was small and nimble.

But that January of 2001, I did not like the game one bit.

I was at tryouts for my middle school’s basketball team and of course I was so excited for the day to have finally come. But when the coaches started making everyone do drills, I had a very hard time keeping up with the other boys.

My chest was tight. I was wheezing and felt short of breath. I brushed it off to being a “coach potato” the entire summer, but it did not get any better over the course of the three days of tryouts.

This was the beginning of a journey I will never forget.

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Kids with Cancer

Research Funded by St. Baldrick’s Leads to Early Detection of Infant’s Rare Childhood Cancer

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 10, 2014 0 comments

Childhood cancer research saves lives. You can help — get involved.

Megan Flynn with her newborn son, Andrew.

Megan Flynn with her infant son, Andrew. Photo by Simply Bliss Photography.

When Megan Flynn, a pregnant mother of two, joined a cancer registry funded in part by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, she was hoping to get some answers to the questions she had about a rare cancer she had developed at 17. She never dreamed she’d end up saving her own baby’s life.

But that was how doctors discovered she had a rare genetic mutation that likely played a role in the development of her childhood cancer — and that led to her infant son’s rare lung cancer.

Megan’s childhood cancer

When Megan was diagnosed with a rare ovarian cancer called Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor in 1997, no one knew much about her type of cancer, let alone what caused it. After surgery and five years of follow-up scans to make sure the cancer hadn’t returned, Megan was sent on her way.

She graduated college, got married, and started having kids of her own, always wondering in the back of her mind what had caused her cancer and if it was something she should worry about with her own children. “I just never really had any answers,” she said.

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