Research

Moving On From Cancer: The Challenges Adolescent and Young Adult Survivors Face

by Erinn Unger, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 23, 2016

Being a teen or young adult can be tough. Being a teen or young adult who has survived cancer is even tougher. Read on for more about the unique challenges adolescent and young adult (AYA) survivors face, and how a St. Baldrick’s researcher is reaching out to help.

Dr. Lisa Schwartz explores the health app with a patient

Psychologist Dr. Lisa Schwartz and a patient look at the health app that she’s using in her texting intervention study.

The teenage and young adult years are a time of discovery, a time to map out one’s identity, and to stretch into what could be. Those years are a coming-of-age dance, with a side of hormones, prom dates, and boundary pushing.

Sometimes it’s a little awkward, and maybe filled with more than a few mistakes. But as much as some of us wanted to skip right over them, those years are crucial.

But what happens when cancer is thrown into the mix?

That already rough developmental period gets rockier.

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Families

The Truth About Parenting a Cancer Sibling

by Amy Dyess
September 22, 2016

We talk a lot about how childhood cancer affects the family. But what about the siblings, specifically? Ambassador Cheyenne’s mom opens up about how her 5-year-old son, Tristen, copes with his big sister’s childhood cancer journey, and how she and her husband balance their children’s needs.

Cheyenne and Tristen smiling

It’s September. This is a big month for those of us in the childhood cancer community.

If you know anyone impacted by childhood cancer, I am sure your Facebook feed is blowing up with heart wrenching facts about how underfunded the research is and how rare childhood cancer ISN’T.

One thing that tends to be forgotten is how childhood cancer impacts the rest of the family. Most specifically, the siblings.

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Families

‘Pura Vida!’: Phineas’ Summer in Costa Rica

by Carlos Sandi
September 19, 2016

Ambassador Phineas’ dad, Carlos, shares what the family has been up to this past summer, and he looks back at where their family was 10 years ago — and where they might be now if it weren’t for the immunotherapy clinical trial that saved Phineas’ life.

Phineas Costa Rica water

Ten years ago I was nearing the end of the worst summer of my life.

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Families

Holding on to Hope: Our Family’s DIPG Story

by Deb Fuller
September 15, 2016

At 12 years old, Hope dreamed big. She wanted to be the next Asian Taylor Swift, a doctor, a nurse, or maybe even a minster. She had a lifetime of plans to make a dreams to chase until she was diagnosed with DIPG, a pediatric brain tumor with no known cure. Her mom tells her story.

Hope smiles with her mother, Deb Fuller

There is a song that Garth Brooks sings that includes the lyrics, “Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” That is exactly what Hope was to our family.

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Facts

Types of Childhood Cancer: Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)

by Adam Green, M.D.
September 12, 2016

What is DIPG
Dr. Green is a St. Baldrick’s Fellow at the University of Colorado. He explains DIPG symptoms, treatment, and how research is helping kids with this type of childhood cancer.

What is DIPG?

DIPG stands for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. It is a type of high-grade glioma, a brain tumor that comes from cells called glia that surround, protect, and otherwise support the nerve cells in the brain.

DIPG is always found in the brainstem. This part of the brain controls many basic functions like breathing and swallowing, as well as muscles that help with speech and eye movements.

It is most common in elementary school-aged children, but it can affect children of any age.

Learn more about childhood cancer >

About 250 kids in the U.S. are diagnosed with DIPG each year.

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Kids with Cancer

‘My One Ticket to Live On’: How a Clinical Trial Saved Mitch Carbon’s Life

by Erinn Unger, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 9, 2016

Like most college freshmen, Mitch Carbon is excited to be getting a fresh start. But unlike his peers, just two years ago, he didn’t think he’d live to see this day. Read on for more of Mitch’s story and the clinical trial that saved his life — all made possible by YOU.

Mitch hugs his dad

When Mitch Carbon was a junior in high school, he was preparing to die.

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Kids with Cancer

Childhood Cancer Life: My Day With Hazel [PHOTO ESSAY]

by Alison Sutton, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 9, 2016

A few days ago, we brought you the childhood cancer story of Hazel, the sweet 5-year-old who loves tea parties, playing dress-up, and who’s fighting neuroblastoma for the second time. Shortly after her family learned her cancer was back, St. Baldrick’s staffer Alison Sutton went to the hospital with Hazel and her mom for her first day back in treatment. Alison tells the story below.

Hazel Hammersley

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Facts

Why Do Kids Get Cancer?

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 6, 2016

Why do kids get cancer? That’s the big question we asked Dr. John Maris, who co-leads the SU2C-St. Baldrick’s Foundation Pediatric Cancer Dream Team. Researchers are working hard to find the answers because they could hold the cures to kids’ cancer.

Why Do Kids Get Cancer

Why do kids get cancer? In short, there’s no single, easy answer.

The answer is complicated, said Dr. Maris.

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Families

A Real Chance at Life: Rex’s Story

by Erinn Unger, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 2, 2016

This month marks three years since Rex was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, and the 4-year-old and his family are celebrating. Why? Because thanks to a St. Baldrick’s-funded immunotherapy treatment, Rex still shows no evidence of disease. Read on for more about rambunctious Rex and his incredible childhood cancer journey.

Rex smiles at the camera

Rex was diagnosed with childhood cancer when he was just 18 months old. Now he’s a high-energy, fun-filled 4-year-old.

For 4-year-old Rex, everything is go big or go home.

“He runs everywhere. He doesn’t just take steps, he leaps. He doesn’t have an inside voice, just an outside voice. He throws everything, breakable or not,” his mom, Lesley, said.

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Families

Out of Treatment and Back to School: Two First-Graders Find Acceptance in the Classroom

by Erinn Unger, St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 31, 2016

To most parents, the first day of school is a big deal in a good way. For the parents of kids fighting cancer, however, the first day of school can be the start of one more scary, uncharted journey. But it doesn’t have to be. Read on for the story of two cancer fighter classmates who were embraced by their school, where their cancer journeys became a valuable lesson in acceptance and the realities of childhood cancer.

Alex and Scott sit together

Alex and Scott sit together during a meeting at the clinic.

Every day, the first-graders at Triangle Math and Science Academy used to break out the Clorox wipes to clean their desks. The scrubbing of their workplaces became so routine that it’s now second nature to some of the kids who attend this charter school in North Carolina.

But to Liz Ferm and Nancy Lenfestey, it means the world.

That’s because both of their sons were in that class, and their classmates started the routine to keep them safe.

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