Ambassadors


Every year, the Foundation selects five Ambassadors to represent the thousands of kids touched by childhood cancer from many different geographic areas, age groups, disease types and more. These brave kids serve as a reminder that childhood cancer doesn't discriminate and that one in five kids diagnosed in the U.S. will not survive.

Kellan T. Age 6

Location

Maine

Diagnosis

Neuroblastoma

Status

NED with permanent paralysis

With an irresistible laugh and the face of a cherub, five-year-old Kellan wins the hearts of everyone he meets. No one even notices his wheelchair.

Kellan was diagnosed with stage III neuroblastoma with secondary paralysis the evening of his birth. Doctors told his parents he had a large mass in his spine and abdomen. Their newborn son began chemotherapy on the third day of his life.

After four rounds of treatment and a nine hour tumor resection when he was three months old, Kellan was declared with No Evidence of Disease (NED). But cancer left its mark and he is permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

That has not slowed Kellan down at all. He zips around in his customized wheelchair aspiring to do backflips like extreme wheelchair athlete, “Wheelz”. He loves to ski and although he is tethered to someone and uses an adaptive ski on the slopes, he still likes going really fast and doing big jumps. Kellan just started adaptive climbing, scaling a 40-foot indoor climbing wall twice on his first day. His other love is fishing and he wants to be a fisherman when he grows up.

Kellan’s mom, Elizabeth says the family has always been positive about his situation, “From the very beginning we decided we're not going to say ‘can't’ in our house. It will be ‘can’ or ‘we'll figure out a way’”.

He recently moved to survivorship clinic having passed the five-year milestone of being NED. Despite all the odds stacked against him, Kellan lives life limitlessly with an amazing attitude that anything is possible!

Kellan’s story continues on our blog.  Learn More

Maya G. Age 9

Location

Washington

Diagnosis

Wilms or other kidney tumor

Status

No evidence of disease (NED)

Maya describes the day she was diagnosed with Wilms tumor as “the worst day ever.”

It was July 6, 2016, one month before her 7th birthday. Doctors immediately scheduled surgery to remove her left kidney, where the tumor was located. Two weeks later, Maya began her treatment plan which included radiation and chemotherapy. But shortly after treatment started, more aggressive cancer cells were found in her tumor and Maya was placed on a more intensive chemotherapy plan.

Her family gave her the nickname “Mighty Maya” and she truly lived up to it! With a positive attitude and fierce determination, the brave little girl prevailed in the fight against cancer. Today, Maya has No Evidence of Disease. Her recent scans have been clear and her hair is growing back.

Best of all, she’s been able to get back to enjoying all the things she loves: hanging out with her brothers, going back to school full time, participating in Girl Scouts and being with her friends who mean the world to her.

Maya also has many “favorites” which she can now simply enjoy. She loves animals and nature, adventure, music, the color purple, the animated character “Toothless” in the movie, “How to Train Your Dragon”, pandas, unicorns, and rainbows.

But her most favorite thing to do is go on adventures specially planned by her dad, Peter, who is the “rock” of their family. Fun trips to see waterfalls, explore hiking trails and discover new beaches are the best of times for the Gladhart family.

Maya’s mom, Jackie was a first time shavee at the 2017 Seattle Children’s Hospital event and rocked the bald, raising money for childhood cancer research. She said, “Shaving my head for Maya was an easy sacrifice; having cancer isn’t.”

With her love of imagination and creativity, Maya looks forward to being an artist when she grows up. There is no doubt Mighty Maya will achieve her dream!

Maya’s story continues on our blog.  Learn More

Brooks Blackmore Forever 6

Location

Indiana

Diagnosis

Brain or spinal cord tumor

Status

Angel

Brooks was only five years old but he had a passion for life! He loved dance parties, Hot Wheels, monster trucks, Legos and video games.

His favorite holidays were Christmas and the 4th of July and his favorite sports were baseball and soccer. Brooks knew every pizza joint in town and also loved salami sandwiches. He enjoyed taking walks to look for rocks or shells on the beach. He especially loved his younger brother and sister, who are twins. And like many boys his age, Brooks wanted to be a race car driver when he grew up.

Nothing could have prepared his family for the out-of-the-blue diagnosis that their active, healthy, life-loving son had cancer. Brooks had two stage IV inoperable anaplastic astrocytomas in his brain and would later develop another tumor on his cervical spine.

Brooks endured radiation treatment, surgery, therapy, medicine and whatever else the doctors asked of him with bravery beyond his young years. He fought the cancer with a “faith over fear” attitude and inspired all who joined him on his journey, challenging them to “bigger than brave…to be Brooks brave”.

His family keeps Brooks’ memory alive by raising awareness and funds for research through a St. Baldrick’s Hero Fund, the “Be Brooks Brave” High Grade Glioma Research Fund.

His mom, Tracey says, “We carry his bravery, faith and love with us. We are dedicated to changing the outcome of ‘no treatment options’. We pray this money makes the difference in helping future families faced with the same devastating news.”

The little boy who loved life will never be forgotten because his legacy lives on in the efforts of his family and friends, who fight against childhood cancer being “Brooks brave.”

Brooks’ story continues on our blog.  Learn More

Zachary S. Age 17

Location

New York

Diagnosis

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Status

ALL Survivor

Zach is a cancer warrior. He is courageous, strong and has fought cancer three times.

Diagnosed when he was six years old, Zach beat cancer for the first time after 3 ½ years of treatment. Then at age 11, he knew it was back. Zach powered through 2 ½ more years of treatment with a positive attitude.

But it wasn’t long before he learned he had relapsed again. Although he was devastated, he bravely told his family, “I can do this again as long as you are with me.” This time, Zach received a revolutionary new treatment from a St. Baldrick’s funded researcher called CAR T cell therapy where his own immune cells are reengineered to attack the cancer. This prepared his body for a bone marrow transplant from a perfect match, his older brother Ben.

After months of hospitalization, Zach went home to a hero’s welcome. He’s anxious to get back to doing the things he loves: fishing, swimming, hunting and hanging out with friends. Zach also has a new best friend in a new puppy named Buddy.

The family is looking forward to vacations together at the lake or the beach and backyard campfires with friends.

Zach’s mom, Nancy is proud of her son. She says, “Zach has always fought the best way he knows how. He just keeps on pushing forward and does not complain. When he has a good day, he makes it a great day. He always finds something to laugh about.”

That amazing fortitude has served Zach well, carrying him through three battles with cancer. Now he can look ahead to a future as a cancer survivor.

Zachary’s story continues on our blog.  Learn More

Julia A. Age 12

Location

Virginia

Diagnosis

Brain or spinal cord tumor

Status

In maintenance

When you meet Julia, you know right away there’s something special about her. Perhaps it’s her bright smile or her exuberant joy and compassion for others. But this eleven year old girl is super!

In fact, that’s her family’s favorite nickname for her — “Supergirl Julia” — given in honor of her courage and determined spirit in the midst of her cancer journey.

When she was eight years old, Julia was diagnosed with a grade II ependymoma in her brain. She bravely endured three major brain surgeries, five minor surgeries, eight rounds of chemotherapy and two months of radiation. Her tumor remains stable through recent scans and Julia has bounced back to do all the things she loves best.

SuperJulia is super talented — she sings, plays the piano and ukulele and dances. She loves to create imaginary stories and songs with her dolls and stuffed animals. She is a Cadette Girl Scout as well as a member of two youth leadership organizations in her community, the Junior Beta Club and the local chapter of Jack & Jill of America, Inc.

Julia has a strong faith and is active in her church where she especially enjoys participating in the children’s ministries.

It’s no wonder everyone who meets Julia comes away feeling encouraged and uplifted. Her family calls them “Julia-isms” but she is known to share something profound or inspiring or just plain funny that touches people’s hearts. This young girl has not let cancer dim her bright future or cloud her sunny outlook on life.

Julia’s story continues on our blog.  Learn More

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