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.

Isaac Y. Age 8

Location

Minnesota

Diagnosis

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Status

In remission

Want to see someone tough? Look no further than Ike.

Rocky and Rambo have nothing on this childhood cancer fighter who just finished treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Diagnosed in May 2013 just days before his fifth birthday, Ike’s now sporting a full head of hair and endless energy. You’d never know what he went through these past three years.

In fact, if you saw him when he was in treatment, you might not have known then, either. From chemotherapy to spinal taps to high-dose steroids, Ike was his energetic, spunky self.

Ike started playing ice hockey right before he was diagnosed, and it was love at first skate. All throughout treatment, nothing could keep him from the ice. He would even go to hockey practice in the afternoon after getting a spinal tap in the morning. Ike’s strength and roll-with-the-punches attitude has inspired friends and family to adopt the motto “Tough Like Ike!”

“He loves to compete and he loves to be on the ice,” said his mom, Chelsea. “I think the ice is his therapy — just being able to go out and skate, not having to worry about anything, just being a normal kid again.”

After all, being a normal kid is what Ike’s always wanted. And now that he’s only going in to the hospital for check-ups every two months, he’s able to get back to doing just that.

Isaac’s story continues on our blog... Learn More

Princeton B. Age 7

Location

Florida

Diagnosis

Neuroblastoma

Status

In remission

Princeton is fearless. Whether he’s climbing over obstacles with his brother during their American Ninja Warrior class, or swimming as fast as he can at the beach, the kid doesn’t scare easily.

And he certainly isn’t afraid to speak up about childhood cancer. That's because he knows about it all too well.

It started with a swollen eye. Princeton’s mom and dad, Jayme and Val, brought him into the pediatrician, who thought it was a bug bite. But it didn’t get better.

One day, Val lifted the long hair that concealed part of his son’s face to find a large, hard lump on the side of Princeton’s head. Jayme and Val knew something else was going on. After going to the emergency room and then the children’s hospital, they learned that they were right.

In late December 2011, at 2 years old, Princeton was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma. And it wasn’t just on his head — it was all over his tiny body.

On Christmas Eve, he received the first of many rounds of chemotherapy. With an upbeat attitude and unfailing politeness, he weathered more chemo, radiation, a stem cell transplant and immunotherapy, and then a relapse.

“When we go through things as adults, we fuss and whine. He just goes through it with grace,” Jayme said.

Princeton is now in remission. After all he’s been through, he’s not afraid to hop on a zip line or shave his doctor’s head in front of an audience at a St. Baldrick’s event. And he’s definitely not afraid to share his story, even if it involves getting up in front of a microphone — especially if it will help kids like him.

Princeton’s story continues on our blog... Learn More

Emily H. Age 17

Location

Louisiana

Diagnosis

Acute promyelocytic leukemia

Status

In treatment

Emily’s nickname as a camp counselor is "Sunshine," and for good reason.

Diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia in April 2016, the teen has kept a sunny attitude, despite a devastating diagnosis and a risky treatment plan.

Emily’s always been go-getter. So when she learned her prognosis was poor and the treatment journey would be long, she took action and enrolled in a clinical trial. She was the first pediatric patient to undergo the eight-month-long treatment where doctors used arsenic, instead of the standard chemo, to kill her leukemia cells.

Every step of the way, Emily asks her doctors questions. She works hard to learn about her cancer and the clinical trial she’s on to fight it.

But that level of involvement isn’t limited to her treatment. She’s always moving, doing, and striving. When she was in the hospital, she’d study for the standardized tests for college, then video chat with her class to stay on top of what was going on. She’s even on student council.

“I think she pushes herself because she wants to live this life she's been given now,” said her mom, Suzette.

Emily feels that she’s had some of the best days of her life since her diagnosis. If you ask her, she has a lot to be grateful for — especially for the childhood cancer research that saved her life.

“It means that I get to live to see another day, every day,” she said. “It means I'll get to graduate high school. It means that I'll get to go to college and that I'll get to grow up to have a family of my own.”

Emily’s story continues on our blog... Learn More

Abby F. Age 10

Location

Virginia

Diagnosis

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

Status

In remission

Abby loves being with friends, reading, and playing Minecraft, and she always has a smile, despite a long and difficult journey.

She was first diagnosed with Ph+ ALL, a rare and aggressive type of leukemia, in February 2011. Soon, Abby was on a unique combination chemotherapy treatment available to her because of St. Baldrick’s-funded research.

It worked. Abby powered through 32 months of treatment, and then she enjoyed 11 months of just being a kid — having sleepovers, playing soccer, and running as fast as her legs could carry her.

Then she relapsed.

After a bone marrow transplant in January 2015, Abby was again cancer free, but she developed severe graft-versus-host disease and other complications. This time, doctors didn’t expect her to survive.

But Abby just kept on trucking.

She went back to school part time. She walked down the aisle and tossed petals as a flower girl in a friend’s wedding. She even flew to Italy with her family to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, and to marvel at the gondolas in Venice, which she’d read about in one of her books.

"It's pretty incredible,” said her mom, Patty. “People call a lot of things miracles. But even the doctors who never use that word use it for Abby, too.”

With tenacity and heart, Abby has made a miraculous turnaround, wowing everyone around her and doing what she does best — defying the odds.

Abby’s story continues on our blog... Learn More

Benny M. Age 12

Location

Illinois

Diagnosis

Brain or spinal cord tumor

Status

In treatment

Benny and his family were on vacation in Orlando when a severe headache and vomiting landed him in the ER. A simple CT scan revealed he had a tumor in the back of his brain.

This was very difficult news for Benny’s parents to deliver to him. Unlike most 11-year-olds, he understood exactly what it meant to have childhood cancer.

In fact, he had shaved his head for St. Baldrick’s just days before. Little did he know then that he would soon be diagnosed with childhood cancer himself — specifically medulloblastoma.

But his focus soon shifted to his family. "He looked at me and said, ‘Oh, Mom, am I ruining our Disney vacation?’” his mom, Michelle recalled. “He’s always worried about everybody else.”

Benny completed six weeks of radiation and is now working his way through nine rounds of chemotherapy.

He also made it through a seven-hour brain surgery that left him unable to walk, talk, or swallow — the result of a side effect called posterior fossa syndrome. He’s working to get those skills back through a combination of physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

And his hard work is paying off. He’s graduated from a wheelchair to a walker, he attends half days of school, and he’s been able to master the coordination needed to bake his signature pies and play video games, which are some of his favorite things to do.

But when doctors or nurses ask Benny about himself, he doesn’t talk about his love of video games or his baking skills. Instead, he proudly tells them that he was the top fundraiser for St. Baldrick’s in the sixth grade at his school.

Now, St. Baldrick’s holds an extra special place in Benny’s big heart, and he and his family are more determined than ever to help find cures for Benny and kids like him.

Benny’s story continues on our blog... Learn More

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