Survivors

Cancer to College: A New Chapter Begins for Aaron

by Aaron Thompson
August 26, 2015 0 comments

Two and a half years ago, Ambassador Aaron was just finishing treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He’s still in remission, and this week he’s starting his freshman year of college over 300 miles away from home. He shares this quick update.

Aaron sports a cap and gown and stands with his parents and sister

Aaron stands with his family at his high school graduation ceremony.

Unfortunately summer is nearly over, but it also marks the beginning of a new stage of my life. This week I’ll be starting my studies at the University of Pittsburgh. It is bittersweet that I am leaving high school behind, but I am excited for all of the fun experiences and new friends I will make over the next four years.

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Head-Shaving Fundraisers

Why You Should Start a St. Baldrick’s Event on Your Campus

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 26, 2015 0 comments

We’re shaving heads to find cures for kids’ cancer. Sound crazy? Maybe. But here are five great reasons you’ll want to join us.

College students smiling after shaving their heads together

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Families

Seven-Year Survivor: An Update on Ambassador Khalid

by Erinn Unger, St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 25, 2015 0 comments

St. Baldrick’s 2010 Ambassador Khalid was just 2 years old when he was diagnosed with childhood cancer. Now, seven years have passed and he’s not just surviving — he’s thriving.

Four-year-old Khalid flies a toy space shuttle

Four-year-old Ambassador Khalid flies a toy space shuttle in this photo from 2010, when he was chosen to be an Ambassador.

It’s been five years since Khalid was picked as an Ambassador for St. Baldrick’s and a lot has changed.

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Kids with Cancer

The Good, the Bad, and the Same: Chase’s MRI Results

by Ellie Ewoldt
August 24, 2015 0 comments

One year ago, after a routine MRI to check for brain tumor recurrence, Chase’s doctors found some suspicious-looking spots. Since then they’ve been monitoring him closely with scans every six weeks to make sure the spots haven’t grown. Chase’s mom, Ellie, shares the news from last week’s MRI.

Chase laughs with his mom before his procedure

Chase and Ellie enjoy a pre-procedure game of “Got Your Nose.”

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Kids with Cancer

‘Aloha, Chemo!’: Aubrey Says Goodbye to Chemo in Style [PHOTO ESSAY]

by Alison Sutton, St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 21, 2015 0 comments

Last month, our social media and content specialist, Alison Sutton, got to spend another day with Honored Kid Aubrey. (If you missed their first day together, check out the photo essay here.) This time, there were no doctors, needle pokes or medications in sight — in fact, they were celebrating the end of Aubrey’s treatment with a luau-themed party!

Alison Sutton and Aubrey Castro in 2014 and 2015

Aubrey and Alison in May 2014 (left) and July 2015.

I met Aubrey a little over a year ago when she came into the St. Baldrick’s office for a photoshoot.

A few things have changed since then — the biggest being her health.

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Families

Three Generations Shave for Carter

by Erinn Unger, St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 20, 2015 0 comments

Honored Kid Carter continues just being himself — a zany, fun little boy — no matter what cancer throws at him. His joyful spirit and story inspired a wave of giving at a St. Baldrick’s event in Frankfort, Illinois, that left much of the boy’s family bald and Carter holding a coffee can full of thousands of dollars for childhood cancer research.

A collage of Carter

Carter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and is now in treatment. Photos by Ashley Amanda Photography

It took one simple question from the emcee.

“Who thinks Carter’s mom should shave her head?”

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Families

The Boy Who Just Wanted to Play: Gary’s Story

by Erinn Unger, St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 18, 2015 0 comments

Two decades after his passing, Anne remembers her son, Gary, who was diagnosed with childhood cancer in 1989. She misses him, but she knows her son wouldn’t want her to be angry or sad. Instead, she tries to live joyfully, just like he did. “I believe that we need to enjoy each day to the fullest and not muddle in the things we don’t like about life,” she said. “I choose to enjoy life.”

Gary tugs on his suspenders

Gary was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at 21 months old. He had a tumor in his belly and behind his right eye.

When Anne looks at her twin grandkids, they remind her of Gary. They remind her to keep going. They bring her so much joy, just like he did.

They’re just a little older than Gary was when he went into the hospital for the final time.

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Advocacy

An Open Letter to My Representatives: Why You Need to Support the Childhood Cancer STAR Act

by Carlos Sandi
August 14, 2015 0 comments

Two of Carlos Sandi’s three children have been diagnosed with cancer — Althea, who died in 2006, and Phineas, who is now cancer free thanks to childhood cancer research. Carlos takes his family’s story to his representatives in this moving open letter.

Althea and Phineas Sandi

Carlos’s son Phineas (left) and daughter Althea.

Dear Senators:

I am writing today to ask for your support of the childhood cancer STAR Act. This bill reflects the highest-level legislative priorities as defined by rounds of carefully considered conversation among the many groups comprising the Alliance for Childhood Cancer.

I don’t know what the rubric or algorithm is for deciding if you should co-sponsor a bill, but I can tell you from personal experience that without direct federal support for childhood cancer research in the form of the NIH Pediatric Oncology Branch, my son Phineas would not be spending this week attending a Lego robotics camp; he would be every bit as dead as his older sister who we lost to acute myeloid leukemia in 2006.

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Facts

Babies and Cancer [Q&A]

by Erin Breese, M.D.
August 11, 2015 0 comments

Anyone can get cancer — even babies. Dr. Erin Breese, a St. Baldrick’s Fellow studying infant leukemia, explains the signs, symptoms and treatment of babies with cancer, and how research is helping pinpoint better therapies so babies with cancer can grow up to live long, healthy lives.

a baby's feet

Can babies get cancer?

Unfortunately, cancer can occur at any age including during infancy. According to recent statistics, roughly 23 of every 100,000 babies are diagnosed with cancer each year.

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Research

Study Examines Possibility of Protecting Childhood Cancer Survivors’ Hearts With a Pill

by Erinn Unger, St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 6, 2015 0 comments

Harsh treatments are often needed to save kids’ lives from cancer. Some of these treatments can weaken their hearts, which can lead to a terrifying consequence years down the road — heart failure. A new study, spearheaded by St. Baldrick’s researcher Dr. Armenian and opening at dozens of sites across the country, could help protect that vital organ and ultimately help survivors live long, healthy lives.

Dr. Saro Armenian

Dr. Saro Armenian has been involved in St. Baldrick’s since about 2009 and now has a St. Baldrick’s-funded study that could revolutionize care for childhood cancer survivors.

Normally, congestive heart failure is a health problem seen in people at the end of a long life. But for some childhood cancer survivors, that frightening health issue could be a reality as early as their 20s or 30s.

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