Real-Life Stories

Cheers to our Volunteers – Vote for St. Baldrick’s 2020 Volunteers of the Year!

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 31, 2020
collage of nominees

As a volunteer and donor powered organization, St. Baldrick’s is comprised of many amazing volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty to #DFYchildhoodCancers. We appreciate them all and would love to recognize and award each and every one of them. So, for the first year ever, we selected eight volunteers who have put the spirit of volunteerism into action this past year.

In anticipation of National Volunteer Week next month, we want YOUR vote to see who will be featured in April as a “2020 Volunteer of the Year.” We’ve created three categories: Head-Shaving Participant, Do What You Want Fundraiser, and Advocate and a winner will be selected from each one. Read below to get to know the selfless individuals who have made an ever-lasting impact in their community and the mission of St. Baldrick’s. Then, cast your vote for each category!

The winners will be announced on our social media channels during National Volunteer Week (April 19-25) and will be provided with an exclusive award. Voting is open March 31 to April 7, 2020. Spread the word and ask others to vote, too!

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Research

Discoveries that Shift Paradigms with Dr. Poul Sorensen

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 23, 2020

St. Baldrick’s is all about shifting paradigms. When three men decided to shave heads at their industry’s March 17, 2000 St. Patrick’s Day party, they didn’t set out to change the landscape of childhood cancer research funding. But today the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research grants.

Twenty years later, the paradigm shifts keep coming, and Poul Sorensen, MD, PhD has been a part of several of them. Last month we joined some very special guests on a visit to his lab at the University of British Columbia, where he is a Professor of Pathology and holds the Johal Endowed Chair in Childhood Cancer Research.

two doctors
Dr. Poul Sorensen (right) with his Co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Mads Daugaard (left).

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Head-Shaving

7 Ways to Make Your Virtual Shave Fun

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 20, 2020
bald woman

As you are aware, restrictions on all kinds of community gatherings as a result of COVID-19 are taking place and head-shaving events are no exception. But St. Baldrick’s supporters are not the kind of people who call it quits! We refuse to cancel hope for kids with cancer – although we can’t go out, we will not stop fundraising, we won’t stop shaving and we won’t stop having fun!

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Head-Shaving

What to Do If Your Event Has Been Rescheduled or Cancelled

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 13, 2020

UPDATE: Like all of you, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is well aware of the concerns regarding large public gatherings across the country. In light of COVID-19 and our concerns for the well-being of the entire St. Baldrick’s community, especially the most vulnerable among us, the Foundation’s Board of Directors has adopted the latest CDC guidance for public events.  As Foundation practices never override civil laws, regulations, or public health policies and recommendations, effective immediately, all St. Baldrick’s head shaving events should be postponed to May 15 or later.  While we all hope it will not be necessary, we will monitor CDC guidelines in the event it becomes necessary to extend that deferral. If you have not yet been notified of any changes to the status of your event, please check the event’s page to see if the date has changed, or send your VEO an email and request an update. Their contact information is located on the event page by the event details.

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Facts

What Is Wilms Tumor?

by Elizabeth Perlman, MD and Jeffrey S. Dome, MD, PhD.
March 10, 2020

What is Wilms tumor?

Wilms tumor is a cancer of the kidney. It is one of the most common types of childhood cancer, with approximately 500 new patients a year in the United States alone. It was named after German surgeon Max Wilms, who is credited with discovering the cancer in 1899. There are several other less common types of kidney cancer that affect children and teenagers. These include clear cell sarcoma, malignant rhabdoid tumor, and renal cell carcinoma.

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Head-Shaving

5 Reasons to Shave Your Head on St. Patrick’s Day

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 3, 2020

Looking for a great way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day AND make a difference? Go bald and #DFYchildhoodCancers with the world’s largest private funder of pediatric cancer grants!

woman with St. Paddy's gear

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Research

Research Outcomes: Climbing Toward Cures for Childhood Cancers

by Becky C. Weaver, Chief Mission Officer, St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 3, 2020

Editor’s Note: Last August, we began a series of blog posts on the outcomes of research that you, our donors, help to fund. Becky Chapman Weaver, Chief Mission Officer, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, provides us with an update.

man in lab

If you think of a new cure as the top of an enormous mountain, imagine all the work that comes before anyone can stand on that summit for the first time. It takes discovering which routes lead to the top and which are dead ends or sheer cliffs. It takes knowing how to avoid mountain lions, grizzly bears and avalanches. And it takes putting one foot in front of another thousands of times – and often mounting new ascents year after year.

In the world of research, we can think of basic science or laboratory work as the discovery that tells our climber which way to go. Without that, no one gets anywhere. Translational research is our climber using that knowledge to get uphill or to bring those discoveries to the benefit of patients. And a clinical trial tells us whether we’ve achieved the summit – or whether a treatment is more effective for patients than the previous standard of care.

Your support of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation makes every step of the climb possible. Already we have funded more than 1,500 grants, covering every stage of research. Here are a few recent examples of outcomes you can be proud of.

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Advocacy

Speak Up for Kids’ Cancer: February 2020

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 27, 2020

Read on for updates on the State of the Union, the President’s budget proposal, and events during Rare Disease Week on Capitol Hill.

Ambassador Shamari holding sign

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Facts

What You Should Know About Research into Rare Pediatric Cancers

by Becky C. Weaver, Chief Mission Officer, St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 25, 2020

Rare Disease Day is observed on the last day of February, but the St. Baldrick’s Foundation fights rare diseases year-round.

What is rare disease?

When it comes to cancer, or even diseases as a whole, “rare” is a misleading word.

In the U.S., a rare disease is defined as “any disease or condition that affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States, or about 1 in 1,500 people.” About 72% of rare diseases are genetic, and of those, 70% start in childhood.

Worldwide, people with rare diseases make up less than 6% of the population. But more than 6,000 rare diseases have been identified so far, and they affect more than 300 million around the world. If these people were a country, they would be the world’s third largest nation.

rare disease stats

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Head-Shaving

Meet the Shavee – Pediatric Nurse in California to Go Bald for Cancer Research

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
February 24, 2020

As we head into the month of March, we’re gearing up for the height of Head-Shave season – the majority of St. Baldrick’s head-shaving events are held during March.

For the blog today, we’re introducing you to one of those who will become a first-time shavee this year, Melody Flores from San Francisco. Melody agreed to answer a few questions through email; she was on a trip to Africa while she did (and she’ll tell you why below). 

Nurse
Melody Flores will Brave the Shave on March 14, 2020.

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