For a second year in a row, I’m going to shave my head for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and stand in solidarity with kids being treated for cancer while raising money for life-saving research. This year our event in Cleveland has expanded and, I will shaving my head in the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital atrium on Friday, March 9th. This event is hosted in conjunction with the 10th annual event at A.J. Rocco’s on March 17th.
Please support me with a donation to the St. Baldrick's Foundation. This volunteer-driven charity funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government. Last year, the Foundation funded nearly $22 million in new grants – all because over 45,000 people shaved their heads! Your gift will give hope to infants, children, teens, and young adults fighting childhood cancers. So when I ask for your support, I'm really asking you to support these kids.
It’s a little-known fact that only 4% of federal cancer research funding is directed to childhood cancers. And yet, more children in the US die of cancer than any other disease – more than AIDS, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and congenital anomalies combined. One in five children diagnosed with cancer will not survive. Two thirds of childhood cancer patients will have a long lasting chronic condition from the very treatment that helped save their lives – hearing loss, heart damage, chronic pain, graft-verses-host disease, and even a second cancer.
Recent reports from the National Institute of Health show that research grant funding has reached its lowest point in history. In 2011, Congress cut 1% from NIH’s $31 billion budget – only the second reduction since 1970. Officials at the National Cancer Institute report curing childhood cancers would be comparable to curing breast cancer in terms of patient years of life saved. Today, success in adult cancers is measured in months, while success in childhood cancers is measured in years.
Read about the critical State of Childhood Cancer Research Funding from Kathleen Ruddy, Executive Director of the St. Baldrick's Foundation.
So where does the money go? Over $1,000,000 in funds raised at these events has come back to support pediatric cancer research here at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals. Several fellows from my program have received grants from St. Baldrick’s to support their life-saving research. To find out more about their projects, click on "Where the Money Goes" then "View Grants" and search for my colleagues Youmna Othman M.D., Agne Petrosiute M.D., and Stefanos Intzes M.D.
I hope my name will join them soon. This year, in addition to shaving my head, I am applying for a St. Baldrick’s grant. As you read above, research funding is tighter than ever. I have already been turned down for 3 grants – all supposedly geared towards physicians in oncology fellowships.
Your donation won’t play a role in determining if I receive a St. Baldrick’s grant this year, but it WILL go to good use. Please make a donation on my head to help me reach my goal of $500, and watch me and others “Shaving the Way to Conquer Kids’ Cancer!” Even a $1.00 donation makes a difference. Send this email to a friend and ask them to do the same and together we can all make a difference.
To make a donation, click on "Donate Online" or "Donate by mail or phone" and follow the instructions.
As a physician, I truly hope there will soon be a day when I will ALWAYS follow the sentence “Your child has cancer ” with the words “We have a cure. ” Thank you for making a difference in children’s lives worldwide!