Real-Life Stories

Staying Positive, and Thriving, as a Young Survivor of Pediatric Cancer

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 31, 2019

What jumps out after talking with Shane Callaghan? His positivity. In a recent interview with Shane and his dad, Casey, Shane took center stage with his upbeat, can-do attitude – in spite of a lifetime worth of medical setbacks for a kid who is only 14. Shane has faced multiple treatments for osteosarcoma, which was first diagnosed in October 2015.

The following July, Shane was declared cancer-free. But the cancer in his left leg returned in March 2018. Following his relapse, chemotherapy led to an infection that severely damaged his kidneys. While his kidneys are better, they only function at 50% and are unable to handle heavy doses of chemo. On April 1, 2019, Shane’s left leg was amputated to remove the cancer and ultimately save his life.

Shane appears in a hospital bed following the amputation of his leg in April 2019.

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A Dad Shares His Son’s Cancer Story Part 2: Survivorship

by Dan Butler
May 31, 2019

Editor’s Note: In part one, we heard from Dan Butler, whose son, Sullivan, had a whirlwind that started with back pain and ended up with a cancer diagnosis. Now, here’s part two, where Dan shares the story of how they continue to move forward.

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Real-Life Stories

A Dad Shares His Son’s Cancer Story Part 1: Discovery and Treatment

by Dan Butler
May 31, 2019

Editor’s Note: Today on the St. Baldrick’s blog, we’ve decided to hand the microphone over to Dan Butler, whose son, Sullivan, was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, at the age of 10. June is Cancer Survivors Month at St. Baldrick’s, and the first Father’s Day after Sullivan’s diagnosis and treatment was especially meaningful for Dan.

Dan reading to his son Sullivan in the hospital.

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Real-Life Stories

Brooke’s Survivorship Journey

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 31, 2019

Editor’s Note: Throughout the month of June, Cancer Survivors Month, we are hearing from and about those who have been diagnosed with pediatric cancers, and learning about the long-term impact and late effects of cancer treatments. The month of June also marks four years since the focus of this blog post, Brooke, was first diagnosed.

Brooke poses for a photo in a park on a sunny day.

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Real-Life Stories

What Happens When A Pediatric Cancer Survivor Grows Up to Be a Pediatric Oncologist?

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 31, 2019

When you’re a kid with cancer, you’re not thinking about long-term impacts of treatment: you just want to get better. Parents, too, are rightly focused on a desire to put cancer behind the family and get on with life.

While some childhood cancers still have no cure, overall survival rates have climbed into a figure that’s around 80%, so more attention is being paid to those long-term impacts. What if the treatment you get today can lead to all sorts of unwanted side effects later? And, if you survive as a child, as you move into adolescence and then adulthood, what can be done to ensure you have the best possible quality of life?

Dr. John Gates, a survivor now in his 40s, has worked tirelessly to help treat kids with cancer, and to ensure that those who do survive know how to face future challenges head on.

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Childhood Cancer

A Famous Kid and A Pediatric Cancer Researcher Who Learned From Him – And What Those Lessons Might Mean for Future Pediatric Cancer Treatment

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 29, 2019

It was an inspirational story that was tough to miss: Tyler Trent, Purdue student and Boilermaker superfan, battling a cancer that would prove fatal, and doing so with grace, poise, and character that belied his 20 years. His story has been told during countless television pieces, and social media posts, and even a book. Behind the scenes, though, Tyler made a decision that could potentially mean life-saving treatment in years to come for others faced with aggressive cancers. He agreed to be treated by a team of professionals that would try a precision oncology approach, with genomics front and center, to test what could potentially work for others in the future. The medical team hoped to learn ways to minimize the long-term effects from a wide range of cancers for those who survive.

One member of the team that worked with Tyler, and got to know his family, too, was Dr. Jamie Renbarger, a six-time St. Baldrick’s Foundation shavee and Division Chief of hematology/oncology at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. During her nearly twenty years as a pediatric cancer doctor and researcher, Dr. Renbarger has learned a few things about genomics, about targeted, precision therapies – like those tried with Tyler – and about how research can lead to unexpected discoveries.

Dr. Jamie Renbarger is having her head shaved by a barber at a St. Baldrick's head-shaving event.
Dr. Jamie Renbarger has her head shaved at a St. Baldrick’s event.

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Do What You Want

What Happens When “Do What You Want” Becomes “Ladies’ Night” for 800 Women?

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 28, 2019

It started as a lot of St. Baldrick’s Foundation events do: a few people getting together at the local spot to shave heads and help raise money for pediatric cancer research. After seeing volunteers participate, Terry Binkely-Paterno wanted to get involved in a different way.

And for very good reason, as her nephew, Aiden, had been diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in July of 2008. Wanting to take action, Terry and her mothers’ group – the Wednesday Mothers Club – decided to host a bake sale and contribute the proceeds.

Terry appears next to other women participating in the Ladies' Night event.
Terry (third from left) and other Ladies’ Night committee members.

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Advocacy

The Mommas Mean Business – And Ten Years Later, They’re Still Raising Money for Pediatric Cancer Research

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 23, 2019

Editor’s Note: We’re delighted to give the floor to Rebekah, who is our guest blogger and a leader of the 46 Mommas. In this blog post, she shares what she has learned about helping kids with cancer, and keeping her own sisterhood strong.

A collage showing 9 group photos of the 46 Mommas group.

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Families

What Mother’s Day is Like for Moms of Kids with Cancer

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 10, 2019

Ellie is just like every other Mom in that she juggles all sorts of things, from kids’ schedules to work/life balance. Except she does it all while caring for a child with cancer. On her own blog, she tells stories of her family’s day-to-day with style, grace, and compassion.

Today, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, and especially the Moms who have the added complexity of pediatric cancer, we’ve decided to let her tell a Mother’s Day story on the St. Baldrick’s blog.

Ellie and her child, who has pediatric cancer, take a selfie in the hospital.

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Childhood Cancer

Two Canadian Pediatric Cancer Researchers Share 2019 US/Canada Arceci Award

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 8, 2019

“Same old, same old … doesn’t count.” Bob Arceci didn’t think that old methods were going to tackle pediatric cancers. As you can hear him talk about in this video, he was looking for new ideas, for thinking that wasn’t just “out of the box,” but never really in the box in the first place.

Drs. Shlien and Daugaard are shown accepting the Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award.
Drs. Shlien and Daugaard accept the Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award.

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