News

The Dream Team’s First Year

by Becky C. Weaver, Chief Philanthropy Officer, St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 1, 2014 0 comments

Pediatric Cancer Dream Team
Last week I was part of the first annual review of the Stand Up to Cancer – St. Baldrick’s Pediatric Cancer Dream Team.

The review took place at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and reporting for the Dream Team were co-leaders Dr. John M. Maris, director of the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at CHOP, and Dr. Crystal Mackall, chief of the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The review panel included representatives from Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C), our partner in making this $14.5 million grant; the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR); and of course St. Baldrick’s.

I am excited to report that this Dream Team seems to be making more rapid progress than most. This is partly due to the fact that researchers in childhood cancer are more accustomed to working with colleagues from multiple institutions than are researchers in the adult oncology world.

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Do What You Want

How a Fun Pose Became a Fundraiser for Childhood Cancer Research

by Rebecca Bernot, St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 31, 2014 0 comments

Want to start your own fundraiser for children’s cancer research? It’s easy! Just Do What You Want.

Jessica Hawk-Ippolito puts her hands up

Jessica Hawk-Ippolito is using her signature pose to help kids with cancer.

It started as an impromptu pose for photographs. Then it morphed into a social experiment. Now, it’s a fundraiser for childhood cancer research.

High school English teacher Jessica Hawk-Ippolito has been putting her hands up for the camera since she was a kid because, in her words, “it’s silly and fun and goofy.”

It always made her laugh, she said, along with whoever else was there to witness it. So she started to wonder, why not try to spread the cheer beyond her immediate circle of friends and family?

Jessica set a goal one day in July 2011 to collect photos of people putting their hands up for the camera in all 50 U.S. states and all seven continents by Labor Day. Pretty soon, she was getting submissions from strangers all across the country and around the globe.

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Kids with Cancer

Father Writes ‘Bryce and the Blood Ninjas’ to Help Son Overcome Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

by Matt Draper, St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 29, 2014 0 comments

Help all kids with cancer overcome their illness. Fund childhood cancer research.

kids cancer book

Erec-Michael Weber published the story he told his son about his childhood cancer treatment to help kids and families dealing with illnesses everywhere.

Imagine the scene: There has been an invasion of cancer robots and they must be stopped — to the rescue come the blood ninjas!

This story could excite the child in all of us, but it specifically helped Bryce, son of “Bryce and the Blood Ninjas” author Erec-Michael Weber, as he battled his own diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Bryce was diagnosed in August 2012 when he was 4. While research advancements meant that Bryce had a high chance of survival, Erec knew that undergoing childhood cancer treatment would be difficult for his son. Bryce would have to confront the very real fact that a deadly disease was inside his body.

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Head-Shaving Fundraisers

10 Things You Should Know About the 46 Mommas

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 24, 2014 0 comments

The 46 Mommas are legendary here at St. Baldrick’s. Each year, mothers of children with cancer gather to shave their heads and raise money for children’s cancer research. But did you know these 10 things about the 46 Mommas?

46-Mommas-first-event-holding-hands

The 46 Mommas’ first shave in 2010. Photo by JNP Studios

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Families

Off the Fence: A 46 Momma Decides to Shave for the Fifth Time

by Rebekah Ham
July 24, 2014 0 comments

Ambassador Grace’s mom, Rebekah, was on the fence about shaving her head again this year with the 46 Mommas, but something pushed her over.

Rebekah Ham and her daughter, Grace

Rebekah and her daughter, Grace, a childhood cancer survivor.

I had been on the fence for months about whether or not to shave for the fifth time.

When the 46 Mommas formed in 2009, I vowed to shave until we passed our $1 million goal. We passed that goal in 2013 at our fourth annual event.

A month after that fourth shave, I gave birth to my third daughter, Esmae.  As a mom of “advanced maternal age,” let me say, sleep deprivation hit harder this time around. Between the dark circles, all-things-postpartum, and — let’s be honest — the challenging hair growth stage, I wasn’t sure I had the energy or confidence for bald again.

And, of course, it matters greatly to me how my family feels about my shaving. Grace graduated to official “survivor” status this past year, so I was paying close attention to her cues. How would she feel about Mom being bald once more?

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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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