Childhood Cancer

This Research Helps Childhood Cancer Survivors Thrive

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 7, 2018

June is National Cancer Survivors Month and St. Baldrick’s is dedicated to funding research that saves more lives and helps more survivors! Thanks to donors like you, we’ve funded $17 million and counting in survivorship research grants, so kids with cancer can thrive after treatment ends. Take a peek at just a few of our grants that are making a big difference for childhood cancer survivors…

Lauren in the lab

2014 Ambassador Lauren is a childhood cancer survivor and dreams of becoming a pediatric oncologist. She says she wouldn’t be here without childhood cancer research.

1. Dr. Jonathan Fish with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, St. Baldrick’s Scholar Grant

Dr. Jonathan Fish

Dr. Jonathan Fish with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, New York.

Thanks to funding from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, Dr. Fish and his colleagues were able to form the ‘Survivors Facing Forward’ program at New York’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center in 2008. Since the beginning of the St. Baldrick’s award, the program has grown to follow over 625 survivors and is now one of the top survivorship programs in the New York area. The program provides survivors with an array of services – from oncology to psychology, cardiology, fertility counseling and many more – that are coordinated to meet their unique needs and help them live full, healthy lives. In addition, the program has served as a powerful platform for research into the challenges faced by survivors, including iron overload, vascular resistance, adherence to screening recommendations and genomics.

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Advocacy

The Childhood Cancer STAR Act Passes and is Signed Into Law

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 5, 2018

After years of advocating on Capitol Hill, the Childhood Cancer STAR Act passed and was signed into law! See how the STAR Act will help kids with cancer and childhood cancer survivors live long, healthy lives.

STAR Act logo

What is the childhood cancer STAR Act?

The STAR Act stands for the Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act. It is the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever taken up by Congress.

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Events and Fundraisers

Father’s Day Contest: Show Us Your #BestBaldDad

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
June 5, 2018

We love dads. Especially dads who shave their heads to help take childhood back from cancer!

2016 Best Bald Dad Winner

Father’s Day is around the corner, and we want to give some extra love to all the awesome dads who’ve given up their hair to raise money for kids’ cancer research.

Today until June 10, show us your #BestBaldDad photos for a chance to win St. Baldrick’s swag and a limited edition, co-branded St. Baldrick’s + Love Your Melon beanie!

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Real-Life Stories

I’m a 30-Year Childhood Cancer Survivor … and I Know We Can Do Better

by Nora Morris Kulkarni
June 4, 2018

It’s National Cancer Survivors month and Nora, a 30-year survivor, has an important message for you — that being a childhood cancer survivor isn’t the end of the fight, not by a long shot. That’s why pediatric cancer survivors need you to fund kids’ cancer research, because more research not only makes more survivors, it helps those survivors live long and healthy lives.

Nora with a sign

Nora is a 30-year survivor of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She was diagnosed in March 1988 at the age of 10.

Dear St. Baldrick’s Supporter,

On my 10th birthday, I tripped. That’s all it was … I tripped and sprained my ankle. I was a healthy preteen, who would take any chance to dance around to George Michael or Rick Astley, but my ankle just wouldn’t heal. Months of wrong diagnoses followed until March 14, 1988, when I got the news I had cancer; lymphoma had spread to my bones. I had stage 4 cancer.

In the 80’s, you didn’t talk about childhood cancer. My world began to shrink the day I got my diagnosis. I couldn’t go to school, I stopped being invited to parties, my old friends drifted away and the new friends I made during treatment were dying. Ask any kid with cancer today if this sounds familiar – they’ll likely say yes. Unfortunately, things haven’t changed much and that’s why we need your help.

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Facts

5 Facts About Childhood Cancer Survivors

by Jonathan Fish, M.D.
June 1, 2018

facts about childhood cancer survivors
Dr. Fish is a St. Baldrick’s Scholar at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York. His research focuses on improving the health of childhood cancer survivors.

1. Each year, more children diagnosed with cancer will be cured, joining the growing population of long-term childhood cancer survivors.

Thanks to advances in chemotherapy, radiation and surgical techniques, more children and adolescents are being cured of cancer every year. Today, there are over 420,000 survivors of childhood cancer in the United States, representing approximately 1 in 750 young adults, and that number is expected to exceed 500,000 by the year 2020.

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Real-Life Stories

This Is What Childhood Cancer Survivorship Looks Like

by Lauren Bendesky
June 1, 2018

Today is the first day of National Cancer Survivors Month. To kick it off, 2014 Ambassador Lauren shares what survivorship means to her and gives us a peek into what life is like as a childhood cancer survivor.

Lauren

Diagnosed at age 14 while still in high school, Lauren is now 20 years old and is pursuing her dream of becoming a pediatric oncologist, so she can devote her career to both to the treatment of kids with cancer and to the research to find cures.

June 7th, 2012 is a day that will forever be etched into my memory. This was the last day of my freshman year of high school, but also the day my life was forever changed. After eating dinner, my mother began shaking in her seat as my stepfather informed me that the tumor that had been removed from my abdomen was malignant and so were the surrounding lymph nodes. I had stage 4 neuroblastoma.

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Events and Fundraisers

This Pilot Leaves Toy Cars Around the World to Spread Awareness About Childhood Cancer

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 30, 2018

When Brian flies around the world for UPS, a little piece of Ambassador Brooks comes along on the trip – his favorite toy, Hot Wheels cars. ”I think about him every day now,” Brian said of Brooks. Learn about how this pilot and his wife, Natalie, were inspired by Brooks and took to the skies (and the barber’s chair) to fundraise for childhood cancer research in Brooks’ honor.

Brian shaves while holding a sign that reads: Brooks

Brian shaved at the Be Brooks Brave and Shave head-shaving event in Indiana to honor Ambassador Brooks, a local 6-year-old boy who died of brain and spine cancer in 2016. “Unfortunately, we never had the opportunity to meet Brooks, but his story is definitely in our hearts, that’s for sure,” said Brian’s wife, Natalie.

When Brian’s wife, Natalie, first read about Ambassador Brooks on Facebook, she couldn’t get the story out of her head and her heart. He was so young, innocent and healthy looking, but he had pediatric brain cancer. With his dark hair and dark eyes, Brooks reminded Natalie of her own son. 

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Families

Honored Kid Sully Beats Brain Cancer One Step at a Time

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 22, 2018

Honored Kid Sully loves to bike, run and wrestle with his brothers like any 11-year-old boy. He even tried out skiing over spring break. You’d never expect that just a year and a half ago, Sully woke up from surgery unable to walk.

Honored Kid Sullivan before his diagnosis

Honored Kid Sully loves to bike, run, ride roller coasters and play with his brothers, Cashel and Finn. He wants to be a civil engineer when he grows up and dreams of designing the world’s best roller coasters.

It all started with back pain. It was innocuous at first. Hot baths would relieve Sully’s pain for a while, but it would come back with a vengeance. Finally, after many doctor’s visits, a lot of ibuprofen and no improvement, Sully’s parents, Dan and Jen, brought their son to the ER.

Hours later, the boy was in emergency brain surgery.

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Real-Life Stories

Childhood Cancer Survivors Shouldn’t Spend Their Lives Struggling

by Marianne Bergman
May 18, 2018

Marianne’s daughter, Melissa, is a 31-year survivor of pediatric brain cancer — essentially, she’s a miracle. But being a survivor doesn’t mean that the childhood cancer journey is over. Just the opposite. Here is Marianne with the story of a recent difficult chapter of Melissa’s ongoing struggle with the long-term effects of her treatment.

Melissa with her nurse

Marianne’s daughter, Melissa, with her nurse of 31 years. Melissa was diagnosed with brain cancer as a child and has since struggled with severe long-term effects from the intense treatment she received.

It’s been over 31 years and it can still make my heart race with fear. Cancer. Cancer. Cancer.

Melissa, my daughter, has lived independently for over 17 years, despite limitations caused by treatment for pediatric brain cancer. Seventeen years after finishing treatment, she began suffering through many seizures and 8 strokes. She was forced to quit her job with Disney and rely on disability benefits to pay her bills.

Learn more about childhood cancer survivors like Melissa >

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Events and Fundraisers

And the St. Baldrick’s 2018 #BestBaldMom is…

by Erinn Jessop, St. Baldrick's Foundation
May 13, 2018

We’ve already shaved over 30,000 heads this year to raise money for kids’ cancer research. That’s a lot of bald heads! So, for Mother’s Day, we wanted to do something special for all the extra-special moms who went bald in support of kids with cancer. Check out the winners of our #BestBaldMom contest below. 

This year’s #BestBaldMom contest made for some tough decisions. How could you not vote for all of them?

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