Families

Our Family is Lucky Because My Son Had Options

by Jeff Bernstein
September 17, 2018
Micah dances in the hospital

Honored Kid Micah shows off his dance moves as his dad, Jeff, looks on.

I’m sitting in the waiting area of a hospital 100 miles from home to get the results of my 7-year-old son’s latest MRI scan. Strange to think of myself as one of the lucky ones, but in this club that no one wants to join, I am lucky. My son Micah is now celebrating four years with no evidence of disease, after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer when he was just a toddler. But that good fortune didn’t come out of nowhere. We are lucky because Micah had treatment options – options made possible by St. Baldrick’s Foundation donors like you. Now I need your help to make sure that every child with cancer has as many options as my son Micah had.

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Families

For Emma Sophia and Her Family, Childhood Cancer Research is Hope [VIDEO]

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 7, 2018

Before Honored Kid Emma Sophia was 2 years old, she was in a fight for survival after being diagnosed with leukemia. Now 7 years old and two years past treatment, this amazing kid is sharing her story to inspire others to support childhood cancer research — like the lifesaving research funded by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and Stand Up to Cancer.

A collage of Emma Sophia in treatment and in remission

(Left) Honored Kid Emma Sophia in treatment as a toddler. (Right) Emma Sophia is now 7 years old, in remission and aspires to be an artist, a veterinarian and a chef.

Emma Sophia was barely 20 months old when she started limping at a family party. While the rest of her friends were running around and chasing one another, this little girl could hardly walk. All she wanted was for her daddy to hold her.

“She was so young and so small,” Emma Sophia’s dad, Joey, remembered. “She couldn’t tell me what was wrong.”

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Events and Fundraisers

6 Ways You Can Help Kids With Cancer

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 4, 2018

Did you know that every two minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer? That means 25,000 kids around the world will hear the words “you have cancer” this month alone.

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Families

From Sushi to Superheroes, This Cancer-Free Kid Had the Best Answers to Our Questions [VIDEO]

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 4, 2018

It’s officially Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and we are kicking it off by getting to know Honored Kid Micah! Bright, curious and quite the dancer, Micah has been fighting neuroblastoma since he was 15 months old. Thanks to research, he’s now cancer free! So, we asked him our burning questions, like how does it feel to be a cancer-free kid? And what song is he dancing to these days? This is what Micah said…

Micah in the hospital and cancer free

(Left) Micah goofs off in the hospital during treatment for neuroblastoma in 2015. (Right) Micah plays on the monkey bars — something he missed doing when he was stuck in the hospital during treatment. After multiple relapses and undergoing many different treatments and experimental clinical trials, Micah is currently cancer free.

1) If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why? The ability to turn into any dragon because I love the “How to Train Your Dragon books, movies, and TV series.

2) What ’s your go-to song to sing and dance to? “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman” 

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Families

What Does it Take to Beat Cancer, Fly on a Zip Line and Go to School Without Sight? Bravery Every Day

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 31, 2018

Honored Kid Matthias was diagnosed with retinoblastoma when he was just 3 months old, leaving him blind. But that hasn’t stopped him. Today, Matthias is a childhood cancer survivor and an independent 10-year-old who is learning to navigate the world without sight. As his mom, Katie, shares, he’s one brave kid.

Matthias

Matthias was just a baby when doctors had to remove his eyes to save his life. Since then, he’s learned to read braille and use a cane to help him get around. Photo by Jen Sherrick Photography

When Matthias lost his eyes to bilateral retinoblastoma nine years ago, we never could have imagined how happy and full his life would be. He is a hiker, traveler, and adventurer who has visited 23 states and two countries. He loves sports, especially hockey. He is obsessed with learning about weather, and he is a good student. He is a loyal friend and a fierce advocate for pediatric cancer research and disability rights. He has shaved his head five times for St. Baldrick’s, traveled to Washington D.C. twice to talk to legislators about the STAR Act and is a guest speaker for a disability awareness organization.

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News

New Pediatric Oncology Training Program Bridges the Gap for Kids in Africa

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 28, 2018

Dr. Joseph Lubega has big news — he’s bringing specialized pediatric cancer training to his home country of Uganda, thanks to his St. Baldrick’s International Scholar Grant and a partnership between Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. Read on for more about the pioneering program and why it will be a lifesaver for kids with cancer in the region.

EXCITING UPDATE: The first class of the East African Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program has officially graduated from the unique two-year program, which is the first of its kind in the region. “This is the most exciting point in my entire medical career,” said Dr. Joseph Lubega, a St. Baldrick’s International Scholar and leader of the fellowship program. “The realization that we have a critical mass of specialists to take care of children with cancer in this region of the world, and that they will train others going forward to infinitely multiply the specialist workforce — it is truly a momentous day.” The graduates are Drs. Barnabas Atwiine, Fadhil Geriga, Philip Kasirye, and Ruth Namazzi. Congratulations, grads!

Dr. Joseph Lubega speaks at the launch of the Uganda fellowship program

Dr. Lubega speaks at the launch of the fellowship program in Uganda earlier this month.

Lack of diagnosis, poor care, staggering drug costs, a deficit in specialized medical training for doctors — all of these factors make survival rare for a kid with cancer in Africa.

But St. Baldrick’s researcher Dr. Joseph Lubega hopes to change that with a pioneering program that will train a new wave of East African pediatricians in children’s oncology and hematology.

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Families

When a Child Dies of Cancer, What Should You Say? Here’s One Piece of Advice …

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
August 1, 2018

What should you say to someone whose loved one has died? Vicki Bunke has some simple advice that comes from heartbreaking experience — her 14-year-old daughter, Honored Kid Grace, died of bone cancer in March. Here’s what Vicki has to say …

Grace jumps into her mother's arms

Vicki’s daughter Grace grins and laughs in her mom’s arms. Grace was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when she was 11 years old and lost part of her leg to the disease. After her third relapse, she knew her disease was terminal but remained determined to experience everything life had to offer. Photo by Ashton Songer Photography

For 20 years, I have had the privilege of working as a school psychologist. I am honored to get up every morning and go to a job where I get to spend hour after hour interacting with young people. Sadly, this past spring, a young student who attended the high school where I work — and whom I loved dearly — died of osteosarcoma, a childhood bone cancer.

This student happened to be my 14-year-old daughter, Grace.

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Childhood Cancer

New St. Baldrick’s Researcher Aims to Give Kids With AT/RT Hope

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 27, 2018
Dr. Rintaro Hashizume

New St. Baldrick’s researcher Dr. Rintaro Hashizume in the lab at Northwestern University.

For a child diagnosed with an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor or AT/RT, the options for treatment can be sparse and survival uncertain. This rare, aggressive tumor generally strikes very young kids and though research has progressed, many of these kids live less than a year after diagnosis.

As the father of a kindergartener, this breaks Dr. Rintaro Hashizume’s heart.

Recently awarded a St. Baldrick’s Research grant, Dr. Hashizume wants to change that reality for kids with AT/RT and their families.

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Childhood Cancer

Introducing St. Baldrick’s Biggest Grants Release of 2018 [VIDEO]

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 19, 2018

Remember that check you wrote months ago to that foundation with the funny name? The donation bucket you hauled around the neighborhood? That epic shave? Now, all that hard work has paid off! Buckle your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen, because you funded childhood cancer research! Say hello to the newest grants of 2018 …

2018 grants

In our biggest grants cycle of 2018, St. Baldrick’s is awarding $19.1 million in funds to researchers and institutions dedicated to helping kids with cancer live long, healthy lives – and it’s thanks to your hard work!

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Real-Life Stories

Childhood Cancer Survivor Goes From Cancer Free to College Grad

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
July 17, 2018
collage of Sean during treatment and at graduation

(Left) Sean in treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. (Right) Sean with his mom, Marcia, and dad, Richard, during his graduation from Indiana University.

Honored Kid Sean Kligler graduated from college in May. The day was a tangle of emotions – happiness and sadness both.

“At graduation, I was happy — all those years of schooling finally paid off. I was able to get a college degree,” he said. “Of course, I was sad as well. I really enjoyed my time in college and I made some really good friends along the way.”

But there was another emotion mixed into that bittersweet day. It was gratitude. That’s because when Sean was 5 years old, he was diagnosed with childhood cancer. And when you have cancer, surviving to graduate college, or even attend college, is anything but guaranteed.

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