Real-Life Stories

One Last Christmas: A Mother Shares Her Son’s Cancer Story

by Erica Bonner, Aiden's Mom
December 4, 2019

My name is Erica, and I never imagined that I would have a childhood cancer story to tell.

I’ll never forget the moment I heard the words “your son has cancer”—it hit our family like a ton of bricks. Now I’m sharing my son Aiden’s story because I believe in the critical need to support childhood cancer research with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. And this holiday season, you can join me in giving hope to the next child faced with a cancer diagnosis.

First, cancer took away my little boy’s smile. Then, it took his life.

Boys on a swing
Aiden on the right (in the green shirt), on the swing with his brother Evan, before his diagnosis. That smile sums him up–grinning, being Aiden, just loving life.

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Why I Give

It’s #GivingTuesday — Here’s What It Means for Pediatric Cancer Research

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
December 2, 2019

This time of year, it’s hard to visit any corner of the internet without seeing Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales — millions of dollars in savings prompting billions of dollars in sales. But today is Giving Tuesday, the day we take some of those savings and give back to worthy causes that are meaningful to us. Worthy causes such as funding childhood cancer research.

Giving Tuesday — a movement that, last year alone, raised more than $380 million around the world for charitable organizations — is an important day for St. Baldrick’s. As the world’s largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, we rely on the generosity of donors and volunteers like you to achieve our goal — to fund the best pediatric cancer research and make pediatric cancers a thing of the past.

This year, we’ve set a goal of raising $150,000 on Giving Tuesday to save kids with cancer.

family photo

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Advocacy

Congress’s Focus on Palliative and Hospice Care Shines New Light on a Variety of Issues for Pediatric Cancer Patients and Families

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 27, 2019

About 10 years ago, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation expanded its research portfolio to include funding for supportive care grants. Since then, it has funded more than 40 innovative studies in this area. Supportive care, according to the National Cancer Institute, refers to care given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease.

Our supportive care grants have encompassed a wide variety of topics, including studies focused on psychosocial screening, survivors’ nutrition and physical activity, chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, and mindfulness training — just to name a few. These grants are in sync with needs across the spectrum of cancer in children and adolescents/young adults (AYA) from diagnosis through active treatment to post-treatment survivorship and life-long health surveillance. As many have said, the cancer experience doesn’t end when treatment ends. Supportive care can improve the quality of life for its entire duration.

For this National Hospice and Palliative Care Awareness Month, we’ve decided to look at some of the reasons why this category of care is so very important to pediatric cancer.

kid holding sign
Honored Kid, Tacey, showing her support for PCHETA, at the 2019 Action Days in Washington, D.C..

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Why I Give

St. Baldrick’s 2019 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts that Give Back!

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 25, 2019

Each year at this time, St. Baldrick’s highlights some of the ways you can get your Holiday shopping done AND support pediatric cancer research.

This year is no exception, and we are pleased to present the 2019 Holiday Gift Guide. You’ll find a variety of items supporting St. Baldrick’s – so you’re likely to find something for everyone on your gift list and help us #DFYchildhoodCancers.

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Research

Creating a Future for Osteosarcoma Research

by Anja Kloch, Chief External Relations Officer
November 18, 2019

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation has always been committed to innovation. As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants in the world, it will be no surprise that we fund innovative science, but our commitment extends beyond that.

As part of our strategic plan, we challenged ourselves to find new innovative ways that we could partner with donors in order to help them realize their goals and get more dollars working to find better treatments and cures. We developed our own “venture philanthropy” program, one that allows a donor, or a group working together, to target in what they want to fund with more specificity and involvement than we have ever been able to do before.

The first group to join us in this new effort was the Osteosarcoma Collaborative. Led by Michael Egge, father to Olivia (who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in February 2017), and current St. Baldrick’s Foundation board chair, Katherine Lugar, the Osteosarcoma Collaborative had a clear vision about what they wanted to accomplish through their fundraising and partnership with St. Baldrick’s. They wanted to fund research that needed support to push it over the finishing line – something that was very close to being ready to be put in a clinical trial and was specific to osteosarcoma research.

Family
Michael Egge, founding member of the Osteosarcoma Collaborative, sought to raise awareness and improve treatments and outcomes for children with osteosarcoma when daughter, Olivia, was diagnosed in February 2017.

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Research

Increasing Enrollments on Clinical Trials Through Infrastructure Grants

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 12, 2019

St. Baldrick’s infrastructure grants are designed for one reason: treat more children on clinical trials, often their best hope for a cure. Thanks to the support of St. Baldrick’s Foundation donors, these grants, totaling nearly $1.5 million this cycle, will help treat more children on clinical trials. In this spirit, these grants primarily provide support for Clinical Research Associates.

The grand total of grants made by the foundation since 2005: $282 million. That’s an outstanding number – and we could not have done it without the support of you, our donors. Thank you!

Below, we’ve listed 25 institutions that are receiving infrastructure grants in this cycle. In this blog post, we highlight four of these grants – to help paint a fuller picture of what these grants make possible.

Doctor and patient
Dr. Thomas McLean with patient, Allie, at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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Research

Research Outcomes: Next in a Series

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 6, 2019

In August of 2019, we blogged about several research outcomes that were fueled by St. Baldrick’s donations and published in scientific journals so that other researchers can build upon them. Research publications are a major way that science moves forward.

With more than 200 new publications a year resulting from research supported by St. Baldrick’s, we’ve decided to make this an occasional series, to highlight some of the most interesting outcomes you’ve made possible.

Test tubes in a scientific lab.

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Do What You Want

7 Ways You Can Help Kids with Cancer in November

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
November 6, 2019

Phineas says, 'Thank you' and Happy Thanksgiving
It’s November, and soon we’ll be gathering with family and friends for another Thanksgiving feast. When you’re counting your blessings this year, why not add “lifesaving pediatric cancer research” to the top of your list?

Here are 7 creative fundraising ideas you can use to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer:

1) Give the Gift of Hope as a Holiday Gift: Instead of holiday gifts to your friends, family, coworkers, or clients, consider making a contribution to St. Baldrick’s on their behalf. After the donation is made, you can send a holiday card to deliver the hope-filled news that you’ve made a gift in their honor to fund lifesaving childhood cancer research.

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Research

From Pediatric Cancer Doctor to Researcher to Novelist: A Q&A with Dr. Len Mattano

by Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick's Foundation
October 25, 2019

Today on the blog, we’re talking with long-time St. Baldrick’s supporter Dr. Len Mattano, whose career in the field has included pediatric oncology and pharmaceutical research. His novel is called Celtic Crossing, and he recently discussed his writing and his life’s work in pediatric cancer with St. Baldrick’s Foundation CEO Kathleen Ruddy.

Author Dr. Len Mattano
Author of Celtic Crossing, Dr. Len Mattano [Photo Credit: Stephanie Rosally-Kaplan].

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Research

Researcher from the Netherlands Receives the St. Baldrick’s Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
October 24, 2019

Art + Science = Innovation

“I have always been artistic in my life and creativity is very important to me,” says Dr. Anne Rios, recipient of the prestigious St. Baldrick’s Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award, who leads a research team and runs the Imaging Center at the Princess Maxima Center of pediatric oncology in Utrecht, the Netherlands. “So, when I started my scientific career, I wanted to combine both art and science to visualise the behaviour of cells in physiological condition but also during cancer.”

Dr. Anne Rios with 3-D technology.
Dr. Anne Rios, recipient of St. Baldrick’s 2019 Dr. Robert J. Arceci Innovation Award, applies
three-dimensional imaging technologies to study pediatric cancer.

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